By Mark Steyn - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 0 Comments
As I have said, section 13 is not a right-left thing
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.”
Thus, Ray Bradbury in his prescient 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. On June 6, the day after Bradbury’s death at the age of 91, the House of Commons passed Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill repealing Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Fahrenheit 451 draws its name from the temperature at which books burn; Canada’s Fahrenheit 13 is its frosty northern inverse—the temperature at which the state chills freedom of expression. Free speech is the lifeblood of free societies, and, as this magazine has learned over the last half-decade, our decayed Dominion was getting a bad case of hypothermia.
We’re not alone in this. In Britain, Australia, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and many other places, democratic societies have become far too comfortable in policing the opinions of the citizenry. But even by comparison with our Commonwealth cousins and Western Europe, Section 13 and its provincial equivalents are repugnant—practically, philosophically, and operationally.
By Charlie Gillis - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
Five years, two tribunals, secret hearings, a court challenge and a turning point
For all the passion it stirred, you’d think it would get a noisier send-off. An ovation, maybe. Or tears. Instead, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act slipped quietly beneath the waves last week during a night-time sitting of the House of Commons—victim of a private member’s bill and a trailer load of toxic publicity. Brian Storseth, Conservative MP for Westlock-St. Paul, had glanced anxiously around the chamber as his kill bill went through its third reading. “The benches weren’t full,” he recalls. “That always makes for a bit of extra heart pumping.”
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson had voiced support for the legislation. So had the Prime Minister. The result, then, was never in doubt: at 9:35 p.m. on June 6, by a vote of 153-136, Parliament got Canada’s human rights bureaucrats out of the business of policing speech on the Internet. There was a scattering of applause, and handshakes for Storseth (the bill requires the rubber stamp of Senate approval). “To be honest, it’s all a blur,” says the three-term MP, laughing. But if the passage of Bill C-304 represents a fundamental shift in Canadian culture, you’d never have known it that night. Members dealt with a few housekeeping matters, then waded through a supply bill. Finally, one by one, they trickled out into the cool Ottawa night.
The effect of killing Section 13 will be debated for years among anti-racist groups and civil libertarians. But it is undoubtedly a turning point. Since 1999, Canadians who felt aggrieved by material transmitted online have been encouraged to seek redress under federal human rights law, which targeted material “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” based on grounds of discrimination like race, religion or sexual orientation. Storseth’s bill repeals the provision outright, leaving the Criminal Code as the primary bulwark against the dissemination of hate propaganda by electronic means.
By Paul Wells - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM - 0 Comments
Campaigning on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the first round of Presidential election voting in France, Nicolas Sarkozy said this:
“If there is a candidate from the National Front, it’s because she had a right to be a candidate….So from the moment you run in an election you have the right to run in the election, as far as I know. You are compatible with the Republic.”
Libération, the leftist newspaper, turned that into this morning’s front page:
A lot of people in Sarkozy’s party aren’t happy. “An outrageous, dishonest and unacceptable attempt at political misinformation,” the secretary-general of Sarkozy’s party says in a communiqué. Continue…
By the editor - Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
The real issue is not how to keep credit rating agencies compliant with official thinking, but how to return the American economy to the robust and dynamic powerhouse it has been throughout its history
Prohibitions against shooting the messenger have been forgotten in the midst of the current financial crisis.
Last week Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency expressed publicly what everyone has been thinking for some time: that the United States does not have a credible plan to address its mounting deficit and debt. Net federal government debt as a percentage of GDP is predicted to rise from 74 per cent to 85 per cent by 2021. (Canada is at 34 per cent.) As a result, S&P stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating.
Reaction from the White House was furious. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, “S&P has shown really terrible judgment and they’ve handled themselves poorly, and they have shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic U.S. fiscal math.” Yet any complaint that the rating agency is being too tough on Washington is the height of hypocrisy.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM - 101 Comments
The world’s last superpower is on a joyride to oblivion. An exclusive excerpt from Mark Steyn’s new book, “After America.”
Previously on Apocalypse Soon . . .
It was the worst of times, it was the not quite so worst of times. The predecessor to this book was called America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, and, given the title, you may be tempted to respond, “C’mon, man. You told us last time it was the end of the world. Well, where the hell is it? I want my money back. Instead, you come breezing in with this season’s Armageddonouttahere routine. It’s like Barbra Streisand farewell tours—there’ll be another along next summer.”
Well, now: America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It was about the impending collapse of all of the Western world except America.
The good news is that the end of the rest of the West is still on schedule. The bad news is that America shows alarming signs of embracing the same fate, and then some.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 375 Comments
MARK STEYN: Nicholas Kristof is just the latest great thinker to talk himself into a rosy view of Islam
Despite being a bit of an old showbiz queen, I’m not much for the huggy-kissy photo wall of me sharing a joke with various luvvies. I make an exception on the bureau behind my desk for a shot of yours truly and a beautiful woman, Somali by birth, Dutch by citizenship, at a beachfront bar in Malibu at sunset. I like the picture because, while I look rather bleary with a few too many chins, my companion is bright-eyed with a huge smile on her face and having a grand old time—grand, that is, because of its very normality: a crappy bar, drinks with cocktail umbrellas, a roomful of blithely ignorant California hedonists who’ll all be going back home at the end of the evening to Dancing With the Stars or Conan O’Brien or some other amusement.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali can’t lead that life. She lives under armed guard and was forced to abandon the Netherlands because quite a lot of people want to kill her. And not in the desultory behead-the-enemies-of-Islam you-will-die-infidel pro forma death-threats-R-us way that many of us have perforce gotten used to in recent years: her great friend and professional collaborator was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a man who shot him eight times, attempted to decapitate him, and then drove into his chest two knives, pinning to what was left of him a five-page note pledging to do the same to her.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 200 Comments
MARK STEYN: As lazy, feckless, corrupt and violent as Greece undoubtedly is, it’s not that untypical
From the Times of London: “The President of Greece warned last night that his country stood on the brink of the abyss after three people were killed when an anti-government mob set ﬁre to the Athens bank where they worked.”
Almost right. They were not an “anti-government” mob, but a government mob, a mob comprised largely of civil servants. That they are highly uncivil and disinclined to serve should come as no surprise: they’re paid more and they retire earlier, and that’s how they want to keep it. So they’re objecting to austerity measures that would end, for example, the tradition of 14 monthly paycheques per annum. You read that right: the Greek public sector cannot be bound by anything so humdrum as temporal reality. So, when it was mooted that the “workers” might henceforth receive a mere 12 monthly paycheques per annum, they rioted. Their hapless victims—a man and two women—were a trio of clerks trapped in a bank when the mob set it alight and then obstructed emergency crews attempting to rescue them.
By Paul Wells - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM - 285 Comments
From the print edition, my column about Marci McDonald’s book The Armageddon Factor. I think she overstates the influence of Christian conservatives in Stephen Harper’s Ottawa in a way that saps her book of too much of its credibility. I have said similar things before, when her book was germinating as a long article in The Walrus.
But as McDonald points out on her book’s last page, I admitted last summer, when Tony Clement was making up transparent lies to camouflage the cutting of tourism-promotion grants to gay and lesbian community events, that I often have “second thoughts” about whether she had a point. And indeed, in one of the most-read and most-remarked pieces I’ve written this year, I went on at some length about the influence of social conservatives, including what she calls Christian nationalists, in Harper’s Ottawa. I myself have argued that there’s a real presence with real clout. So what’s got up my nose this week? Continue…
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7:45 AM - 213 Comments
MARK STEYN: Britons have shown a surprising enthusiasm for informing on their fellow citizens
Not long after the fall of the Iron Curtain, I chanced to be in Hungary making a TV film co-produced by the BBC and MTV. Not the MTV of caterwauling rockers but MTV as in “Magyar Televízió”—their version of the CBC, although obviously nowhere near as monolithically left-wing. We spent the first few days in Budapest meeting our local contacts—producers, fixers, interviewees, all of whom were urbane Mitteleuropean charmers, and delightful company. We’d then go on to the next meeting, at which we’d be assured by György that, while József may seem urbane and charming on the surface, he’d spent the previous 30 years as an informant for the Ministry of the Interior. Moving on to our appointment with Gábor, we’d be told that it was the eminently civilized and amusing György who’d been the state informer for the past several decades. Needless to say, Viktor had much the same to say about Gábor, and Imre about Viktor.
The BBC lads found this most disquieting. They had no objection to commies per se, being mostly the usual bunch of university Trots and Marxists themselves. But they disliked the idea of snitches, of never being able to be sure whether your neighbour or workmate wasn’t sneaking to the authorities on your every casual aside. It offended against their sense of fair play; it wasn’t cricket. I took a more relaxed view, having been on the receiving end of the famous British sense of fair play, not least in my dealings with the duplicitous bastards at the BBC. I figured sure, Gábor and Viktor and József and Imre and György and pretty much everyone else we ran into in that post-Soviet spring doubtless had their dark secrets, but under a totalitarian regime the state can apply all kinds of pressure those of us in free societies can scarce imagine. Who are we to judge?
Less than two decades later, something very odd has happened. The United Kingdom is not (yet) a totalitarian regime, yet huge numbers of Britons have in effect signed on as informers to a politically correct Stasi, and with far greater enthusiasm than Gábor and György ever did. Last year, David Booker was suspended from his job at a hostel for the homeless in Southampton after a late-night chat with a colleague, Fiona Vardy, in which he happened to reveal that he did not believe in same-sex marriage or in vicars being allowed to wed their gay partners. Miss Vardy raised no objection at the time, but the following day mentioned the conversation to her superiors. They immediately suspended Mr. Booker from his job, and then announced that “this action has been taken to safeguard both residents and staff.”
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 217 Comments
Funny that the ‘Toronto Star’ writer had the opposite view when it came to my columns
Quebec’s move to nix the niqab continues to tie Canada’s commentariat in knots. The funniest column to date was by Haroon Siddiqui, “editorial page editor emeritus” of the Toronto Star. Mr. Siddiqui was not impressed by the arguments mounted against the head-to-toe body bag—for example, the notion that it is a “symbol of oppression”:
“Let’s assume that it is,” he wrote. “Whose business is it to end the practice—that of the state?”
That’s pretty cute coming from a guy who, during this magazine’s long battle with Canada’s “human rights” commissions, argued at length that it was most certainly the business of the state to end the practice of Maclean’s carrying Islamophobic Steyn columns. If the state can regulate what you write and say and think and even (as in the lesbian heckler case at the British Columbia Tribunal) what you quip, it can most certainly regulate what you wear. In Canada, it would be quicker to list what isn’t the business of the state. “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation,” said Pierre Trudeau, unless, of course, you’re tucked up with a nice mug of cocoa reading an Islamophobic edition of Maclean’s. It was a classic bit of Trudeaupian legerdemain: if you’re allowed to roger anything that moves, or doesn’t, according to taste, you won’t notice all the other parts of your life the state has a place in. In Canada, it’s the state’s business when you get your hip operation, not yours: if the state has jurisdiction over your hip, why shouldn’t it also have jurisdiction over which garments the hip can be sheathed in? In Canada, a resident alien is not permitted to own a bookstore, on grounds of cultural protection. If “cultural protection” can prohibit a homosexual from San Francisco opening up a gay bookstore in Vancouver, why can’t it also extend to a Muslim woman’s dress?
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 606 Comments
MARK STEYN: Strange that the more Canada congratulates itself on its ‘tolerance’ the less it’s prepared to tolerate
Well, Ann Coulter is no longer in Canada, but 30 million Canadians are. So, for the sake of argument, let us take as read the frankly rather boring observation of the northern punditocracy that the whole brouhaha worked to her advantage, and consider instead whether the Canada on display during her 96-hour layover actually works to Canadians’ advantage. Which was the claim advanced by the eminent Canadian “feminist” Susan Cole appearing on U.S. TV to support the protesters’ shutdown of Miss Coulter’s Ottawa speech:
“We don’t have a First Amendment, we don’t have a religion of free speech,” she explained patiently. “Students sign off on all kinds of agreements as to how they’ll behave on campus, in order to respect diversity, equity, all of the values that Canadians really care about. Those are the things that drive our political culture. Not freedoms, not rugged individualism, not free speech. It’s different, and for us, it works.”
Does it? You rarely hear it put quite that bluntly—“Freedoms”? Ha! Who needs ’em?—but there was a lot of similarly self-regarding blather in Coulter Week euphemizing a stultifying, enforced conformism as “respect” and “diversity” and whatnot. “I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind,” wrote François Houle, the provost of the University of Ottawa, addressing Miss Coulter in the smug, condescending, preening tone that comes so naturally to your taxpayer-funded, tenured mediocrity. “There is a strong tradition in Canada, including at this university, of restraint, respect and consideration in expressing even provocative and controversial opinions and urge you [sic] to respect that Canadian tradition.”
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:00 AM - 43 Comments
MARK STEYN: If he rages naked at his aides it’s because he can do nothing about anything that matters
In the old days, I used to wake up to the morning paper, neatly folded on a silver salver and presented by my valet along with the kedgeree and the brace of grilled quail. Now I wake up to an inbox of Internet stories forwarded by readers that cumulatively feel like the front page from some bizarro kingdom cooked up for an unpersuasive dystopian satire. For example, a headline from the Washington Examiner:
“Transsexual Cabaret Performer Vomits on Susan Sarandon.”
An accident? Or the pilot for a hot new reality format? In other news, the London Evening Standard reports:
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM - 259 Comments
Blame a combination of corrupted science, ersatz religion and Third World opportunism
According to the CIA’s analysis, “detrimental global climatic change” threatens “the stability of most nations.” And, alas, for a global phenomenon, Canada will be hardest hit. The entire Dominion from the Arctic to the 49th parallel will be under 150 feet of ice.
Oh, wait. That was the last “scientific consensus” on “climate change,” early seventies version, as reflected in a CIA report from August 1974, which the enterprising author Maurizio Morabito stumbled upon in the British Library the other day. If only the impending ice age had struck as scheduled and Scandinavia was now under a solid block of ice. Instead, the streets of Copenhagen are filled with “activists” protesting global warming, some of whom torch automobiles in the traditional manner of concerned idealists. As long as it’s not my car, I can just about live with these chaps, preferring on balance thuggish street politics to the spaced-out cultish stupor in which many of their confreres wander glassy-eyed from event to event. On the Internet, there is a telling clip of Christopher Monckton interacting with a young Norwegian from Greenpeace who has come along to protest the former’s “denialism.” Monckton is a viscount—i.e., a lord, like his fellow denialist, the former British chancellor Lord Lawson. Now that’s what I call peer review! (House of Lords joke.) Lord Monckton has the faintly parodic mien of many aristocrats, whereas the Greenpeace gal was a Nordic blond. If there were empty stools adjoining both parties at the Climate Conference bar, you’d head for hers before some carbon-credit travelling salesman swiped it. Big mistake. Monckton was the soul of affability, gently suggesting places where she could check out the data. She, by contrast, seemed barely sentient, clinging to rote emotionalism and impervious to reason, data, facts, inquiry.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 8:00 AM - 160 Comments
Women forbidden by law from feeling sunlight—hey, that’s a positive message for young girls
The other day, George Jonas passed on to his readers a characteristically shrewd observation gleaned from the late poet George Faludy: “No one likes to think of himself as a coward,” wrote Jonas. “People prefer to think they end up yielding to what the terrorists demand, not because it’s safer or more convenient, but because it’s the right thing . . . Successful terrorism persuades the terrorized that if they do terror’s bidding, it’s not because they’re terrified but because they’re socially concerned.”
This is true. Resisting terror is exhausting. It’s easier to appease it, but, for the sake of your self-esteem, you have to tell yourself you’re appeasing it in the cause of some or other variant of “social justice.” Obviously, it’s unfortunate if “Canadians” get arrested for plotting to murder the artists and publishers of the Danish Muhammad cartoons, but that’s all the more reason to be even more accommodating of the various “sensitivities” arising from the pervasive Islamophobia throughout Western society. Etc.
Yet this psychology also applies to broader challenges. By way of example, take a fluffy feature from a recent edition of Britain’s Daily Mail: “It’s Barbie in a Burka,” read the headline. Yes, as part of her 50th anniversary celebrations, “one of the world’s most famous children’s toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover.” And, in an attractive photo shoot, there was Barbie in “traditional Islamic dress,” wearing full head-to-toe lime-green and red burkas. At least, I’m assuming it was Barbie. It could have been G.I. Joe back there for all one can tell from the letterbox slot of eyeball meshing.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 1:30 PM - 100 Comments
I’m supposed to be happy my room complaint is a growth experience for hotel staff?
As readers may recall, a few weeks ago I was invited to testify at the House of Commons about the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. While in Ottawa, I stayed at a certain local hostelry that shall be nameless (the Château Laurier). I don’t like to complain. Seriously. I do so much of it for a living that I resent giving it away for free in private. But my room was unsatisfactory in many basic respects, and, a few days after I drew them to the attention of the gal at the checkout desk, an email arrived from the Assistant Manager, Housekeeping, which I quote in full:
“I would like to extend my thanks for bringing these issues to our attention. We truly appreciate Guest feedback, as it enables us to learn and grow from difficult experiences and truly strive to improve the overall Guest experience. Continue…
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM - 72 Comments
Wafting ever upwards on gaseous clouds of hope, only to have his numbers crash . . .
On the day America went Balloon Boy crazy, I chanced to be on the radio, appearing live coast to coast on The Hugh Hewitt Show. And, as the Balloon Boy was the hot breaking news, Hugh asked me about it. “I don’t know what to say,” I said, “except it’s one of those peculiar and potentially tragic and instantly horrifying combination of circumstances.” If I sound a bit vague, well, that’s the idea. I’d gotten the gist of what was happening a couple of minutes before I went on air, but these days I’m wary: almost any “human interest” story turns out to be interesting for an entirely different set of reasons from the initial ones—the shocking “hate crime” the victim turns out to have perpetrated on himself, etc. So simply out of a sense of self-preservation, when I’m told that a six-year-old boy is sailing through the skies in a balloon, I try to suppress the urge to demand mandatory pilot’s licences for kindergartners or making helium a prohibited substance.
So Hugh moved on to Afghanistan and the economy and other peripheral matters, and a couple of minutes later broke in with the news that the boy had been found safe and well. He wasn’t in the balloon at all. “Thank God,” I said, still wary, “but you know, there are a lot of law enforcement people, there have been a lot of people who have been sitting around at airports waiting to scramble into planes, and at the end of the day, this kid is likely to have cost authorities some significant six-figure sum.” Continue…
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM - 96 Comments
Speaking of free speech, Steyn speculates about what the Liberal leader can’t say now
In Ottawa on Monday, I kept getting asked—including by three stray passersby on Wellington Street—what Beatles song Michael Ignatieff should sing. Oh, come on, you don’t really need a professional for this, do you? Help! Yesterday (All my troubles seemed so far away). The Fool On The Hill. Hello, Goodbye. Get Back (to Harvard and a little light BBC hosting) . . .
I wasn’t really in the mood to pile on Iggy, poor chap. I was in town to testify to the House of Commons Select Committee on Justice and Human Rights about the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission’s assault on individual liberty and freedom of expression. And, mainly because I’ve been yakking about this subject for a couple of years now and have pretty much exhausted my stock of free-speech quotations from Milton to Salman Rushdie, just for variety’s sake I decided to cite Michael Ignatieff to the committee. I was talking about the assertion by Chief Censor Jennifer Lynch that, Canada’s constitution notwithstanding, there is “no hierarchy of rights,” only a “matrix” in which “freedom of expression” has to be “balanced” by modish group rights and collective rights. And I responded with a blast of Professor Ignatieff: Continue…
By John Geddes - Monday, October 5, 2009 at 7:34 PM - 64 Comments
The free speech advocates testify before the House of Commons Justice Committee
A tandem appearance by Maclean’s columnist Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant, former publisher of the Western Standard magazine, made for an unusually entertaining first day of hearings at a parliamentary committee probing the controversial powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Steyn and Levant were called as witnesses by the House of Commons Justice Committee because they have both clashed with the commission and emerged as impassioned advocates for the repeal of Section 13 of the Human Rights Act, which gives the commission the authority to investigate complaints about hate speech.
They put on the anticipated lively show as the committee launched deliberations on Section 13. At one point, Steyn called the human rights commission’s investigators “psychologically disturbed.” Levant catalogued allegations of outrageous entrapment techniques he says have been used by the commission in an “out of control” hunt for hate-speakers to drag before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
But if the two media-star witnesses were the focus of attention in Parliament’s Railway Committee Room, the inclinations of mostly anonymous MPs sitting on the committee could end up being the real story as its work progresses.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 12:50 PM - 105 Comments
What if a blind man with a guide dog had taken on a Muslim bed-and-breakfast owner?
What’s new in the exciting world of Canadian “human rights”?
Well, the other day Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen reported the story of a gay bed-and-breakfast owner allergic to dogs who got hauled in for “mediation” by the “Human Rights” Tribunal of Ontario after he turned away a blind man with a Seeing Eye dog. Douglas McCue, 68, of the CornerStone B & B in Perth, Ont., suffers from acute sinusitis aggravated by exposure to canines. Ian Martin, a blind diabetic, responded with a lawyer’s letter and a demand for compensation that started at two grand and quickly escalated into five figures. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM - 4 Comments
How Obama blew an opportunity to call out the world’s crackpots
Barack Obama as an opening act for Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi at the UN? Even Mark Steyn, himself no fan of the American president, was confused by that one. And yet, Steyn fumes, despite being given an opportunity to contrast his vision of the world with those of “a terrorist pseudo-Bedouin running a one-man psycho-cult of a basket-case state,” Obama still wasn’t impressive. Steyn takes particularly umbrage to Obama’s lament that countries are “increasingly defined by our differences,” which, in Steyn’s opinion, is exactly the way things should be. “By declining to distinguish between the foreign minister of Slovenia and the foreign minister of, say, Sudan,” Steyn writes, “you normalize not merely the goofier ad libs of a [Ghadafi] but far darker pathologies.”
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 427 Comments
The obvious explanation for his low ratings are his unpopular policies, writes MARK STEYN, but don’t go there
A year ago, in the final stretch of the U.S. election campaign, I would find myself in New York or Los Angeles or points in between and asked for my thoughts on who would win. I usually answered “John McCain,” more in hope than expectation: I’ve no use for the soi-disant “maverick,” who was a catastrophic candidate, but in those heady days between Sarah Palin’s boffo convention speech and McCain’s characteristically inept response to the economic meltdown there was briefly a faint chance that the Alaskan governor might yet save the Republican party from its rendezvous with destiny.
And at that point the worldly liberal Democrat who had sought my views would nod thoughtfully and agree: yes, McCain would win. Not because of Sarah Palin. But because Americans were too racist to stomach the thought of a black man in the White House. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Monday, September 21, 2009 at 2:23 PM - 24 Comments
Mark Steyn sees an overlap between Obama’s domestic and foreign-policy agendas
By scrapping the American missile defense system, Barack Obama has effectively “handed the Russians their biggest win since the collapse of the Iron Curtain,” Mark Steyn fumes. The reason is simple: In order to shield themselves from a nuclear Iran, Eastern European countries will start looking to an imperial-minded Moscow rather than the U.S. for protection, bolstering Russia’s influence on the region. And will only get worse on the foreign policy front if Obama succeeds in implementing his domestic agenda. “For Britain and other great powers,” Steyn writes, “the decision to build a hugely expensive welfare state at home entailed inevitably a long retreat from responsibilities abroad, with a thousand small betrayals of peripheral allies along the way.”
By The Editors - Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 4:24 PM - 118 Comments
The Prime Minister admits there’s a problem. And he says he doesn’t have a clue how to fix it.
Stephen Harper used to have very clear—and colourful—ideas on human rights commissions and what should be done about them.
“Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” he said in a 1999 interview with Terry O’Neill of BC Report newsmagazine.“ It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” He went on to complain about the “bastardization” of the entire concept of rights in modern society.
Of course, that was back when Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. Today he’s Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. And he appears to have lost his fear of totalitarianism.
In an interview this past January with Maclean’s, the Prime Minister was asked what, if anything, he intended to do to halt the encroachment on individual freedom by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in the name of regulating hate speech.
It is an issue of crucial importance to this country and our strongly held traditions of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
By Mark Steyn - Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM - 35 Comments
Writer Dominick Dunne always ensured that ‘inconvenient women’ weren’t forgotten
Dominick Dunne died the day after Ted Kennedy, and so his passing went all but unnoticed, coming as it did just as the American media’s week-long orgasmic frenzy of Camelotian prostrations and ululations was getting into gear. Dunne would have accepted the black jest of bad timing, albeit with regret. The Kennedy family blames him for the present woes of their cousin, Michael Skakel, currently banged up in the big house for a long-ago murder of a 15-year-old girl who had the misfortune to live next door. “Dominick Dunne,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told New York magazine, “is a pathetic creature.”
“I don’t give a f–k about what that little s–t has to say,” Dunne responded. “That f–king asshole.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 2:54 PM - 10 Comments
Obama’s big government projects mean higher taxes in the future, says Mark Steyn
According to Mark Steyn’s latest column in the Orange Country Register, the U.S., Britain and Italy have at least two things in common when it comes to their finances: all three spent untold billions stimulating their economies and all three are the only major economies that are still in a downturn. Of the three, the U.S. has the most shameful record: “Gordon Brown and Silvio Berlusconi can’t compete with Obama’s $800-billion porkapalooza,” Steyn writes. “The president has borrowed more money to spend to less effect than anybody on the planet.” Steyn’s real fear, though, is that those stimulus dollars, along with the White House’s ambitious healthcare reforms, will burden future generations with a crippling debt load that can only be lessened through higher taxes. Americans are realizing this, Steyn argues, even if their fears seem perversely optimistic. “More and more Americans are beginning to figure out what percentage of them will wind up in ‘the richest 5 percent’ [on which the Democrats will purportedly raise taxes] before this binge is over,” he writes. “According to Gallup, nearly 70 percent of Americans now expect higher taxes under Obama.”