Where is Mark Steyn?

by Brad Nelson   1/5/14

This site’s articulate friend, Griffonn, asked on another thread:

Speaking of which, has Mark Steyn been sited on NRO since his dispute with Steorts over whether one may offend the Gods of Gay?

I believe that Jason Steorts is managing editor of National Review Online. Here is his wimpy reply to Steyn’s column that has NRO’s panties all in a bunch.

And here is Steyn’s smart response to Steort’s gutlessness.

And all those links can be found in an article by National Review’s publisher, Jack Fowler.

Suffice it to say, many people decry the treatment of Steyn – apparently even the publisher of National Review. Why Steorts, Lowry, and a few others are then still working there is anyone’s guess. As Steyn wryly notes in his article in response to Steorts supposed solidarity with Steyn:

As to his kind but belated and conditional pledge to join me on the barricades, I had enough of that level of passionate support up in Canada to know that, when the call to arms comes, there will always be some “derogatory” or “puerile” expression that it will be more important to tut over. So thanks for the offer, but I don’t think you’d be much use, would you?

It is the official position of StubbornThings (ah, the perks of being editor/publisher) that National Review has long since seen its better days and that, with a few exceptions (McCarthy, Cooke, Williamson, Tanner), it is a breeding ground for RINOs and Establishment Republicans. Even poor Jonah Goldberg, like most of NRO, has waved the white flag in regards to the culture war.

National Review’s implicit position (despite whatever their moving-lips may say) is to appease the Left, not stand athwart it. Like much of America, National Review is being hollowed out and corrupted by liberalism.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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117 Responses to Where is Mark Steyn?

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The best response to thought police types like GLAAD is not to give in (like Steorts the wimp), but to attack them back — hence my references to “the fag-boys from GLAAD” and my suggestion that the Saudis stoning homosexuals is better than GLAAD and their ilk suppressing free expression.

    I hadn’t read any of these items (except Steyn’s original post, which I commented on a few times), but it’s easy to see that anyone who relies on free expression will side with Steyn and Fowler, not GLAAD and Steorts. I notice that Fowler at one point refers to the intelligentsia (a Russian term originally, I think) as “intelligencia”, which is also Spanish for “intelligence” but may well be their term for the clerisy. If so, then it may be necessary to re-evaluate the famous motto of General Jose Millan Astray (who founded the Spanish Foreign Legion): “Abajo la intelligencia. Viva la muerte.” It may be that he was simply denouncing the clerisy, who (then as now) generally deserve it.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I pointed out earlier that the December 31 National Review had its usual last-page article by Steyn; we shall see what happens next issue. But I notice that it also has 2 pieces in “The Week” dealing with free speech issues: Bob Dylan is being sued in France by a group of Croat immigrants because he compared the Croat treatment of Serbs to the Nazi treatment of Jews (which was true of the Ustashe of Ante Pavelic and Artija Artukovic, but not of all Croats even then, much less now); and a British chap who made a joke about Nelson Mandela was actually arrested and held by the police for 8 hours — but in response, there are plans to repeal the law that allowed such an abuse of free speech. They also have Kevin D. Williamson’s piece on the use of “racism” charges to marginalize dissent, and had an advertisement for a February appearance in Florida by Steyn.

    We shall see.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I pointed out earlier that the December 31 National Review had its usual last-page article by Steyn; we shall see what happens next issue.

      Indeed. The lead for those magazine may be up to a month. So we shall indeed see.

      Europe is going nuts with these fascist-like controls on speech. I’ve never seen anything like it in living memory (maybe Mao’s China). And to protect whom? The invading, unassimilated Muslims…who will eventually have the last laugh (if demographic trends hold, and there is no reason to believe otherwise).

      Multiculturalism is crazy. In practice, it means you can take a wrecking ball to anything traditional, but don’t you dare say anything bad about anyone else…no matter how evil or noxious they are.

      And thus an entire generation or two is totally ungrounded in a solid morality. All they have is the vapid fumes and feel-good bromides of “tolerance” and such. And it will be these people who will be rounded up like sheep and led to the slaughter by the Muslims. If Europe is kowtowing to them now, even though they are still a relative minority, what do you think will happen when muslims are 40% of the population?

      Europe will explode. We have no idea right now that we are living in pre-holocaust times. But I believe we are. And this one we have manufactured for ourselves. Is it too late for America to learn these lessons? God knows that Mark Steyn has been trying to spread the word.


    I noticed Steyn’s absence also – we’ve missed two columns now. Steyn’s own site had no explanation the last time I looked. I was going to tax NRO’s editors with the question of what had happened to Steyn, but their only recent editorial was that one on legalizing pot you mentioned, Brad, and I just would have felt silly commenting there. Since Fowler supported Steyn, and is in a more important position than Steorts, I would guess Steyn pulled his column from NRO. I’ll follow up on Griffonn’s post (which I had missed as I’m trying to spend less time on NRO) and see if there’s anything new there.

    I absolutely agree with you about Goldberg – after showing how much of the Left’s cultural poison he’d imbibed with his praise of the TV show Breaking Bad, he more recently penned two David Frum-like pieces in which he purports to show how far above both Left and Right he himself is. He’s done, and I’m done with him – it’s sad that someone who could have written Liberal Fascism (not an original idea, but at least correct) could then descend so quickly into irrelevance while the forces of freedom and fascism are now engaged in a struggle all around him for the world’s future.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I absolutely agree with you about Goldberg – after showing how much of the Left’s cultural poison he’d imbibed with his praise of the TV show Breaking Bad, he more recently penned two David Frum-like pieces in which he purports to show how far above both Left and Right he himself is. He’s done, and I’m done with him – it’s sad that someone who could have written Liberal Fascism (not an original idea, but at least correct) could then descend so quickly into irrelevance while the forces of freedom and fascism are now engaged in a struggle all around him for the world’s future.

      I’ve never heard it stated so well. That’s it exactly. And I think one of those two Frum-like columns was when he stated that it was a myth that there was any kind of ratchet effect to Big Government. If not, add a third.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Glenn Beck’s fiction introduced me to the concept of the Overton Window, which is the notion that there is always a certain range (or window) of changes either forward or backward on social policies. Beck gives airport security as an example, and smoking restrictions can be considered another. One reason for increased hostility to compromise with liberals is the realization that no such compromise is ever final; its purpose is merely to shift the Overton Window leftward. We see this on both immigration “reform” and gun control.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          One reason for increased hostility to compromise with liberals is the realization that no such compromise is ever final; its purpose is merely to shift the Overton Window leftward.

          That’s exactly right, Timothy. And this is where I ask the question, “Is we men or is we mice?”

          That is, are we grounded in something deeper than fashion or fad? As powerful as culture is, is it all that we are or can ever be? Are their ideals and principles — good ones — that exist outside of whatever the current Overton Window is open to?

          It used to be the job of conservatives to ask those questions rather than reflexively going with the flow. Even if, for example, the New York Times is all gung-ho for abortion, gay marriage, and other types of odd things, does not the conservative have to ask the same questions that G.K. Chesterton did:

          In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

          It is clear that for many people, there is no reality other than what everyone else is doing. Convention is their guiding star. And it is not doing evil that is their greatest fear but being socially censured.

          And that is not to say that the iconoclast gains ascendency in the conservative way of things. Simply rebelling against all known standards for the sake of doing is is precisely how the Left drags us to bad conventions.

          Jonah used to comment on this stuff. He was rather good at it. Now it’s Steyn who is rather good at it….so good that those with noses caught in the Overton Window get very upset by that t-word, “truth.”

          • Timothy Lane says:

            You may have noticed that Charles W. Cooke had a piece criticizing censorship in Guns & Ammo. One blogger wondered if that meant John Derbyshire would be coming back, and I then brought up Mark Steyn.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I hadn’t seen that piece by Cooke in Guns & Ammo. Oh, I found what you mean, his article at NRO.

              As for keeping around contrary opinions, I guess that’s why we have Faba. But too often Faba is just a purveyor of Leftist soundbytes. And those soundbytes do nothing to illuminate. Talking points are not the same as thinking and presenting evidence. It’s just doing the equivalent of stepping on one of the liberal Stations of the Cross.

              From that article it sounds as if Guns & Ammo came down too hard on Metcalf. And yet, there possibly could be more to this than meets the eye. Still, although he did apparently say some stupid things (as Cooke forthrightly points out), it would be much wiser for another writer to simply point out the areas of disagreement. Metcalf, after all, was presenting a fair argument, even it is is misguided. It’s not like he was ranting-and-running. If Metcalf is morphing into a squishy “centrist,” then by all means, find a better writer.

              That’s the lesson the clowns at NRO did not learn regarding Derbyshire. Instead of, say, commissioning someone such as Thomas Sowell to write a rebuttal (assuming he disagreed), they simply exiled him. And it is turning out the Derbyshire is correct in what he said about blacks. Instead of ousting Derb, they needed to start writing articles about the poisonous anti-white beliefs that are now common among many blacks. Instead, they killed the messenger. They showed their profound politically correct tendencies. So much for standing athwart. It was Lowry who needed ousting at that point, not Derb.

              But, silly me, that’s assuming that things such as magazines and websites are about right and wrong, about promoting traditional and tried-and-true Western/American ideals. It is too often simply about the money, about staying within the confines of whatever the Lefts says is socially acceptable to talk about. We should return again to Steyn’s “Re-Education Camp” rebuttal of NRO’s cowardly nonsense and profound ignorance:

              It is a matter of some regret to me that my own editor at this publication does not regard this sort of thing as creepy and repellent rather than part of the vibrant tapestry of what he calls an “awakening to a greater civility”. I’m not inclined to euphemize intimidation and bullying as a lively exchange of ideas – “the use of speech to criticize other speech”, as Mr Steorts absurdly dignifies it. So do excuse me if I skip to the men’s room during his patronizing disquisition on the distinction between “state coercion” and “cultural coercion”. I’m well aware of that, thank you. In the early days of my free-speech battles in Canada, my friend Ezra Levant used a particular word to me: “de-normalize”. Our enemies didn’t particularly care whether they won in court. Whatever the verdict, they’d succeed in “de-normalizing” us — that’s to say, putting us beyond the pale of polite society and mainstream culture. “De-normalizing” is the business GLAAD and the other enforcers are in. You’ll recall Paula Deen’s accuser eventually lost in court — but the verdict came too late for Ms Deen’s book deal, and TV show, and endorsement contracts.

              I think the reason we see Jonah moving with the Overton Window is that he’s staying within the Left’s framework of what is considered socially acceptable to talk about. And by doing so (whether it is for book sales or to gain appearances on TV) he surrenders to the Left. And at the end of the day, he uses his quite extraordinary brain to rationalize this appeasement of the Left. Even then, I don’t particularly think any of his rationalizations (including his support of gay marriage) even pass the smell test. That one in particular was a transparently feckless.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Remember, NR is published in NYC and its editors and writers live there. This inevitably affects their views, or at least what they’re willing to see written in their magazine, much as living in DC affects others. This isn’t so much of a problem for those who can accept not being part of the In Crowd.

        • David says:

          See “Doesn’t life require compromise?” by Ayn Rand, reprinted in The Virtue of Selfishness–an essay written in the 1960s.

          “It is only in regard to concretes or particulars, implementing a mutually accepted basic principle, that one may compromise. For instance, one may bargain with a buyer over the price one wants to receive for one’s product, and agree on a sum somewhere between one’s demand and his offer. The mutually accepted basic principle, in such case, is the principle of trade, namely: that the buyer must pay the seller for his product. But if one wanted to be paid and the alleged buyer wanted to obtain one’s product for nothing, no compromise, agreement or discussion would be possible, only the total surrender of one or the other.

          “There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender—the recognition of his right to one’s property.”

      • dagny says:

        I had it with Goldberg during the Derbyshire extravaganza. I tweeted him asking if he could be a bigger jerk. He replied that he could. Apparently, it’s an on-going condition.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          LOL. That’s funny. Somewhere in all this I just wish the folks at National Review had the backbone to stand up against the Left instead of finding various excuses not to or not to stand with those who do.

          • dagny says:

            Well, don’t get me started on Potemra. After publishing his article on why he’s pro-gay marriage and his constant Catholic-lite (although he’s left the Church to be an Episcopalian because he has no faith, he says) they hire him to blog on Catholicism? Although I don’t rise to KLo’s level of complete submission, having a grasp of the material seems somewhat of a prerequisite. It’s like hiring republican establishment types to blog on conservatism. Hmm.

            It’s not even their lack of actual conservatism, but their apologetics around conservatism. My conservatism is a result of my “open mind”, the mind of the left is closed, sealed, and padlocked. I’m completely capable of grasping reality and nuance, but I’m also aware of seen and unseen potential consequences and give little credence to “intent”.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I wasn’t aware of the Potemra situation. There’s never been anyone that I can remember on NRO who espoused a kind of Catholicism that was forthright, strong, loving, and yet didn’t waffle at the need to make moral choices. I’m not at all impressed by any of them in this regard. So I do it myself from time to time (and have done as a commenter over there before). And that might seem rude for a non-Catholic to say that. But it would seem that most Catholics haven’t a clue about their religion. Hint: it’s not about socialism, nor is Jesus Christ an anti-poverty program with trappings of hating the rich.

              • dagny says:

                Not rude at all, in fact, that’s how I originally started in my conversion (or my final conversion from agnostic, to Methodist, to Episcopalian, to Catholicism) was making the argument that the radical leftists that had taken over the parish where my kids were in school were not advocating anything remotely “Catholic” but rather just leftism with candles.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Well, it could be worse. You have the Wicked Witch of the West and Caroline Schlossberg proclaiming their (professedly Catholic, but really devoted to Moloch) religion as the basis for their all-out support for abortion. And now Andrew Cuomo — like them, a Molochite who masquerades as a Catholic — has condemned those who are pro-life (which includes the Catholic hierarchy he pretends to listen to). At least NR/NRO hasn’t sunk that low. Yet.

            • Giovanna Visconti says:

              Hey, Dagny!

              I’m Gryffindor1128…very glad to meet up with you again…here! Since I’m boycotting NRO (until or unless Mark returns), I’ve been lamenting not being able to “correspond” now and then with some of the “good guys” who comment there.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Welcome in. It looks like we’ll be able to have an NRO reunion here soon.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This isn’t so much of a problem for those who can accept not being part of the In Crowd.

    Exactly so, Timothy. And I think when these people see a Mark Steyn saying the unvarnished truth (although I hardly think that he strips all of the varnish off), it bothers them. Steyn is a mirror held up to them. I think somewhere deep down they know that they, much like the mainstream media, have not been doing their jobs.

    They then try to normalize their own journalistic malfeasance by tut-tutting about whatever Steyn said and framing it not as wrong but simply impolite.

  5. Well said. And though it may sound like sour grapes, I’ve submitted an occasional article that I believed was in the vein of William F. Buckley Jr.; only to realize those views don’t line up with that publication anymore. Sad.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Feel free to submit your articles here, Susan, with a full bio and links to your site. I liked your It’s Time to Be Men Again.

      Glenn Fairman said something in his article that I just posted today which I think applies as much to Establishment Republicans as it does to New Atheists:

      In believing that it has the formidable phalanx of Science guarding its flanks, this neo-atheism evangelizes itself to its masses as solid iron; but in reality betrays itself to be little more than a thin veneer of cocksure Post-Modernist pabulum that seeks to hack the world in twain. In their eyes, humanity consists of either those benighted masses chained to superstition or the heroic “Brights” whose noble Humanism would lead us out of darkness into our fullest ascendency as pure rationality unfettered from the servitude of an arcane consciousness.

      NRO has become far too technocratic with not enough soul (or moral content). Many of these pundits are the “heroic brights” of another kind. And one of the mistakes they make (something Jonah Goldberg talks about in “Liberal Fascism”) is parsing everything through the lens of politics. This is certainly allowable in one regard: In order to comment on the Left, one has to note that they politicize everything.

      But one shouldn’t do so oneself. Nor should one, in my opinion, simply hammer away with religion. There’s a baby bear “just right” between these extremes. It’s used to be what we called conservatism. The wisdom of the ages combined with a dynamic, forward-looking agenda (but from the private sphere, not the governmental).

      And National Review has simply ignored its charter to stand athwart history yelling “stop.” There’s a lot of money in this game. And it has worked out so that opportunities are increased if you adopt some of the Leftist worldview, if you stay inside their self-made box of what is socially acceptable to talk about (so much for standing athwart). This even applies to Fox News which is hardly the bastion of “fair and balanced.” It’s much too cowardly as far as talking frankly about the vital issues of the day such as racism (where it really exists), the fascism of the gay movement, the destructive selfishness of entitlements, and of the vulgarity and lies that is part and parcel of everything Left.

      And who talks frankly about the feminization of America? The nanny state could in no way make progress if men were still acting like men. You’ll find no bigger fan than me of Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher, and other strong women such as that.

      However, everyone is trying to explain why we are where we are now. But no explanation is complete without noting the marginalization of men, including the infantalization of them as they extend adolescence out now until their 30’s (Pajama Boy being the poster boy for this phenomenon). This is also how to make sense of the gay movement. It’s not just about pining for Utopia, about a sex cult, about busting down the West’s principles in any way that the Left can. Nothing is more symbolic of the zeitgeist of our culture than the feminization of men in the form of men becoming women to each other.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I think you’re a bit unfair about Fox News. In the first place, we should remember that most of their news and opinion anchors aren’t movement conservatives, the main exceptions being Sean Hannity and probably Jeanine Pirro. But the others do reflect conservative views on some issues, and they (especially Hannity) also allow Ann Coulter to make her case frequently. Greta van Susteren pays a lot of attention to Rush Limbaugh. They do make an effort to present both sides, and this can be very frustrating given that most of the liberals simply parrot the Obama Gang party line (Alan Colmes is the worst example). But they do also present the conservative viewpoint.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Timothy, that’s a good point you have about Ann Coulter. But I stopped watching Fox News as a serious form of news because it just became a formalized shouting match. And why should I waste one minute listening to Bob Beckel even if Hannity is in love with him? And although people such as Alan Colmes provide “diversity,” simply being a dumb-ass doesn’t add anything to the conversation.

          I understand that Fox News has to make a buck. I understand that feigning centrism (as O’Reilly does) facilitates reaching a larger audience who otherwise would shut their minds down entirely. And I understand there are those who just tune in to watch a battle. But that is no longer me. I can’t stand their new shows, although I do think Greta has the best of the three. In some ways she fulfills the journalistic duty of telling us what we need to know, and in impartial terms.

          No one is a bigger fan of Hannity than me. I listened to him religiously when he first was on the radio. But the cacophony of his TV show on Fox is not what I’d call enlightening. It’s just noise.

          This is one of the driving influences of this site. Go ahead and disagree as much as you want. But I hold the magic button and will dispense with obvious trolls — those who simply spout Leftist talking points and are obviously doing little more than going on an ideological Jihad, aka “noise.”

          It’s far too much to expect television to ever rise above the level of noise. Dennis Prager gives an insightful inside look at television in his book, Think a Second Time. He says that everything about television pushes the treatment of issues to the sensational, the simplistic, and the provocative. And I think that’s true about Fox News as well to some degree…to enough of a degree where I just don’t watch it anymore.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Here’s that article you were talking about: Global Warming’s Glorious Ship of Fools. Mark’s got several of his trademark pithy lines including:

            The AAE is right: the warm-mongers are indeed ‘stuck in our own experiment’. Frozen to their doomsday narrative like Jeff Daniels with his tongue stuck to the ski lift in Dumb and Dumber…

            The environmental-wacko movement has gone completely bat-excrement crazy.

            As for finding useful liberals by which reading them will bring some kind of “balanced” viewpoint, such thing doesn’t exist. In fact, it is conservatives who must, Aquinas-like, make the opposing arguments for them in the course of our rational dialectic. There is no other choice. To quote a writer from Salon, for example, is useful only in terms of measuring that day’s lunacy.

            And therein lies the problem. A lunatic isn’t much use in gauging directions. Still, I have read a couple books by Paglia. She’s about as close as there is to being a useful liberal. I agree with many of her points. But where we differ can usually be understood as the result of Paglia’s lack of introspection on certain subjects and/or the factor of her simply having donned a particular cultural identity and then arguing from there.

  6. Timothy Lane says:

    I have a couple of observations. First, there’s a Mark Steyn article in The Spectator on global warming and the “ship of fools” trying to redo the Mawson-Mertz expedition over a century ago (in which, according to the description of symptoms, Mertz may well have died of vitamin A poisoning while they were starving, presumably from eating the huskies’ livers), dated January 11 but already available on-line; Hot Air had a link to it.

    The other item is an article in the December 31 National Review by Jay Nordlinger. He acknowledges that one needs disparate viewpoints to avoid the danger of groupthink, but also noticed the difficulty of finding honest liberal argument. It’s not yet impossible, but I’ve found that over time the high percentage of cant and bigotry in liberal commentary (and the absence of honesty) leads me gradually to drop one after another liberal pundit.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, it’s after 8 p.m. and no Steyn article on NRO. Evidently the editor there thinks Steyn can’t make a fruit cordial, as I suggested to someone who regretted that there was no Steyn article as a response to his replacement (by Goldberg, which I’m sure leaves you thrilled to death).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, by chance, I saw your “fruit cordial” crack and gave it a thumbs-up. And Jonah had another questionable column today. And all is right in the world of NRO.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Well, Steyn still goes missing from National Review Online. Nahalkides has posted something in Jonah’s latest article that I thought was very insightful:

    I don’t think you’ve quite got the full import: Steorts publicly undercut Steyn (mistake #1 – as the managing editor, he should have made his complaints to Steyn privately); his rationale for even a private criticism was woefully insufficient (he rationalized the thuggish attempt to circumscribe debate through intimidation as an “awakening to a greater civility”); then he topped that off with an insincere promise to join Steyn on the barricades if things got bad enough. Basically, Steorts is a squish on his best day – and that’s probably being too generous.

    Steyn’s response made it pretty clear he didn’t much care to be treated like that. Sensing the trouble (I make this inference as I have no inside knowledge), Jack Fowler got personally involved, taking Steyn’s side in a clear attempt to mollify him without publicly rebuking Steorts.

    Since then, we’ve had three weekends with no Steyn weekend column (including this one). Clearly Steyn wasn’t suspended, so either Steyn went on vacation or he pulled his column.

    So maybe Steyn has finally gotten tired of dealing with these clowns as many of us have. The initial impetus for this site, to some degree, was people getting tired of the limitations of NRO (not to mention its ideological feebleness).

    Mark, we don’t pay much, but you’re welcome here.

  9. John Kirke John Kirke says:

    Finally got around to registering: a few people here might recognize my commenting at NRO as “Lawrence,” and I do appreciate Brad’s pointing me to Stubborn Things.

    Mark Steyn stands alone: few living writers are even in the same solar system in terms of insight, integrity, or wit, and no one has all three to the degree that he does. I’d almost hate the possibility of his losing that rather high-profile perch at National Review — the weekend column, the occasional Corner post, the Happy Warrior column at the back of the print edition, and the rare cover story — but I think NR needs Steyn a lot more than he needs them.

    Steyn has the bestselling books and the popular guest-host spot for Rush, and so I’d bet other publications like The Federalist or the Washington Free Beacon would jump at the chance to give him the spotlight and raise their own profiles, or he could certainly blaze a new trail if he wanted to. On the other hand, NR constantly invokes Steyn and McCarthy and VDH in their fundraising pitches and cruises, but they’ve been trading on the magazine’s conservative reputation to undermine the movement, most egregiously by suggesting that Romney and Huntsman were worth serious consideration while Perry and Bachmann were not.

    Steyn is the sizzle that’s been selling tofu.

    NR has become a mouthpiece for the statist status quo within the Republican establishment, and writers like Steyn provide them a (lucrative) fig leaf. I’d just as soon his absence made them more honest.

    I don’t think Mark Steyn always announces when he’s on vacation or travelling abroad, but in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a new cover story for The Spectator (Australia), a new Song of the Week, and an extra-long interview on Hugh Hewitt’s show. Clearly, Steyn’s not taking a break.

    At the same time, he hasn’t posted anything at NRO since the public dispute with Jason Lee Steorts, except for one update concerning the climate “scientist” Michael Mann’s lawsuit against NR and Steyn. posted two days later and on Christmas Eve. Since then, nada.

    The table of contents for the latest print edition lists his Happy Warrior column, but don’t let its January 27th date fool you: the cover story for this first issue of the year was published online on last Friday (January 10th), so between deadlines and contractual obligations, Steyn’s print column might have been a fait accompli.

    I’ll be interested to see how long the Happy Warrior continues to grace the last page.

    One thing worth noting is that the “fruit cordial” controversy (Cordialgate?) extends beyond National Review. The comment concluded Steyn’s syndicated column for December 20th, and NRO isn’t the only place this column can usually be found: the column also appears (appeared) in the Orange County (Cal.) Register, and last week at his site Steyn pointed out that the Register chose not to run the column.

    From his site, Steyn usually links to the Register rather than NRO to publicize the weekend column, and I know of no other publications that run it, but the Register’s archive ends with the previous column from Steyn.

    With no other columns posted to SteynOnline, maybe he’s decided to end the syndicated column altogether.

    About other good writers at NR/NRO, I’d say the real cream of the crop is Andrew McCarthy, Victor Davis Hanson, and Thomas Sowell, but the first two also have dedicated blogs at PJMedia, and NRO merely joins The American Spectator and other publications in running Sowell’s syndicated column. Even without making other arrangements, none of these guys need to be there in order to be heard.

    (Not that I think any of them is perfect. They rarely disagree, but when they do, I think Steyn usually has the stronger argument than McCarthy, e.g., when NR canned Derbyshire, whose anti-theistic genetic determinism rules him out as a classical liberal even as he remains a sometimes witty enemy of the Left. And I think McCarthy could have argued better for collecting metadata without the snark directed at the libertarian sensitivities of guys like Rand Paul, and without treating the need for effective police work as the overriding principle; the Fourth Amendment itself makes detective work harder, no matter where its boundaries are drawn.)

    (At the same time, I think Sowell has been too quick to parrot the right’s conventional wisdom that the shutdown was a mistake and that electability is key. In all these cases, there is room for areas of disagreement and even minor errors in judgment.)

    On the other hand, I believe the list of trustworthy NR conservatives is shorter than others might think.

    Kevin Williamson is frequently an effective writer, but I simply cannot trust him, and not just for the pro-Romney article arguing A) that conservatives who opposed Romney and wanted a full repudiation of progressivism were blinded by “hate” for Obama, B) that Obamacare should be done away with by stealth reform rather than outright repeal, and C) that a mild-mannered Romney would be more effective since he would be less of a lightning rod for the rabid left.

    (All this was before Romney secured the nomination, at which point his moderate politics did nothing to prevent nonsense about “binders full of women,” accusations of tax fraud, and even the insinuation of manslaughter by firing a guy who ended up dying of cancer. Williamson could not have been more wrong about our political opponents, but his mistake could hardly have been more easily predicted.)

    Had Williamson written nothing else objectionable, there would still be the early 2012 NR cover story about Mormonism, which was pure propaganda. He tried to smear Christian opponents of Mormonism as being uninformed, unhinged hypocrites who might not even be genuine Christians, and he did so with an explicit eye on Romney’s political fortunes.

    That was enough to prompt me to cancel my subscription of more than a decade, after which NR won’t receive another dime from me without a significant change in personnel and principles, and that was enough for me not to trust Williamson’s writing ever again. I know the controversy surrounding Mormonism and orthodoxy well enough to know that Williamson could have found credible critics like Albert Mohler, and he chose not to, has never defended this choice with anything but snark, and has never expressed anything resembling remorse for what was — especially for a professional writer — an inexcusable error of judgment and failure of character.

    In brief, what Michael Crichton described as the Gell-Mann Amenisa Effect must be resisted: if you know a writer and a magazine can stoop this low, you must not forget that fact when you’re reading outside your area of expertise — or when you’re reading a piece that you like for its conclusions.

    Charles C.W. Cooke is generally a good writer, from what I’ve seen, but I have noticed that he’s “come out” (as it were) in favor of same-sex “marriage,” and I believe that the only reason that position is permitted among the conservative commentariat is its prevalence, not any principles.

    There’s really no conservative case or libertarian case for the state to endorse same-sex relationships by treating them as equal to the complementary and frequently procreative union of man and woman. Such relationships between consenting adults should certainly be legally permitted, but not endorsed, and the state could create a type of “civil-union” regime that streamlines the merger of property rights and legal privileges without giving prominence of place to this specific type of relationship — such a civil union could include entirely platonic relations, such as between “war buddy” veterans who have no immediate family, an adult son having to care for an elderly parent, or old-maid sisters trying to raise an orphaned nephew.

    Redefining the legal concept of marriage to the degree required by SSM advocates: if that position isn’t both radical in its disdain for traditional institutions and statist in its willingness for the government to assert that 2+2 = 5, then nothing is.

    If he thinks there’s a conservative case for his position on this issue, Cooke grossly misunderstands conservative principles. Maybe, like the Cheneys, he’s willing to abandon those principles for very personal reasons. Either way, I’m happy to see him write some very good articles in support of the conservative movement, but I would be surprised if, ultimately, this one deviation from that movement remains a singular exception.

    This was the issue about which Jason Lee Steorts wrote literally ten thousand words for NR/NRO in 2011, first in a lengthy essay for the print edition, then in a twice-as-long appendix online. His rambling, pseudo-intellectual argument was for the state’s endorsing “maximal experiential unions,” he hand-waved all serious objections, and he denounced the rebutting essayist’s philosophical outlook AND “the outlook of the entire tradition he represents” by saying they are “nothing less than a failure to think of persons as persons.” By publishing this nonsense, NR undid an awful lot of good will it created with the editorial published the previous year, making a fairly strong case for marriage, and the magazine hasn’t become more conservative since.

    (Like Michael Potemra, Jason Lee Steorts very rarely writes for National Review, but when either of them do, it is almost never in service of a conservative cause. NR’s leadership evidently values their personal relationships more than their stated and oft-celebrated mission statement.)

    And, this issue is where I first noticed Jonah Goldberg going off the rails, denigrating Judeo-Christian sexual ethics — chastity, where sex is strictly limited to marriage and celibacy is otherwise a moral obligation — as, quote, “cruel and absurd,” an offense to both morality and reason.

    That was late 2010, he hasn’t become more conservative since then, and it’s not just his blunting the edge of his rhetoric for his syndicated and LA Times audiences.

    I do wonder why NRO chose to post a copy of Goldberg’s latest G-File newsletter, and I could imagine a couple reasons. Maybe it wasn’t to fill the void that Steyn has left, maybe it was to publicize the newsletter. Or maybe the editors thought Jonah made a great case for Christie, around whom NRO has generally been circling the wagons.

    (McCarthy remains a notable exception.)

    While Steyn’s been absent from NRO, he has still weighed in on BridgeGate, during an extra-long interview with Hewitt. The difference between Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn on this controversy is striking.

    Jonah is shocked that anyone’s shocked, political operatives’ playing hardball being as surprising as bears defecating in the woods.

    What these bozos did was bozoriffic. But come on. Do you think Rahm Emanuel hasn’t played games with which streets get plowed first after a snow storm? Do you think that the Cuomos have issued every business permit and license on a first-come, first-serve basis? Wait you do? Oh man, that is adorable. Bless your heart.

    Mark Steyn thinks the scandal is outrageous.

    At the best of times, a New York-New Jersey commute involving a bridge or tunnel is not a great thing. So to have political staffers actually making it worse for political reasons gets to the heart of what’s wrong, what’s so upside down about politics in this country, and just to back to, you know, it hasn’t been definitively confirmed that she would have lived if they had got to her, in other words, you’re saying that by delaying the ambulance getting to her, it doesn’t, that did not necessarily prove the fatal part of whatever happened to this woman. That’s the wrong way to look at it. These people are supposed to be making the bridge from New York to New Jersey better. That’s why there’s government. That’s the point of government. Government isn’t there for private score settling. Government is supposed to do those things that only government can do, like arranging a transportation system between two states that makes it possible for an ambulance to get to a sick woman in time.

    It seems that both writers agree that the scandal isn’t exceptional for American politics — Steyn did describe it as symptomatic of “what’s wrong, what’s so upside down about politics in this country” — but only one of them expresses moral outrage over this brazen assault of the idea of equality under the law.

    Whether my car has a bumper sticker for the NRA or the NEA ought to be irrelevant to the quality of service I receive from my government when I visit the DMV. Telling us to get used to political bullying through the petty abuse of bureaucratic power is perverse.

    No telling what Steyn would have written this past weekend, but I can pretty much guarantee that it would have been less embarrassing to NR than Jonah’s argument, even if (maybe especially if) he gored a few sacred cows of the politically correct along the way.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The disagreement between Goldberg and Steyn over the GWB controversy is reminiscent of the disagreement between Mike Huckabee and others (such as Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin) over Todd Akins’s idiotic comments. The latter attacked Akin as an idiot throwing away a winnable Senate seat; the former correctly pointed out that liberals get away with far worse (Debbie Wasserman- Schultz aka La Estupida and Elizabeth Warren aka Blonde Squaw With Empty Head and Joe Biden aka the Yellow Jester, for example). He had a point, but that is the reality we have to face, and the net result was 6 more years for the detestable Claire McCaskill.

      The increasing social liberalism at NR probably reflects the fact that they live in New York City and have decided to “go along to get along” with the local elites, who share the libertinism of the New Barackum Slimes. At least they continue to oppose abortion as far as I know — at least for now.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Jonah Goldberg is finding ever new ways to embarrass himself. His article about bridgegate (in contrast to Steyn’s brilliant remarks) shows his growing irrelevance.

      Dennis Prager (who also has fallen off the conservative wagon in a number of ways over the last year) often quotes Proverbs: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

      What I think that means in a practical sense is that there is a big difference between parsing your world through a backslapping, secret-college-handshake, “secular” lens and that of a conservative “wisdom of the ages” lens. And many of the NRO writers have gravitated toward what is popular, not wise. Or, as you stated:

      the only reason that position is permitted among the conservative commentariat is its prevalence, not any principles.

      Conservatism doesn’t ask what views one should hold to make you cool, groovy, hip, or popular. It asks, given human nature and the nature of government, what values and principles are necessary in order to maintain a good and functioning free society. Not a perfect society. A good one. And that means that not everyone can have everything. One must make trade-offs.

      And no conservative worth his salt could be for gay marriage, for example. And this is based upon the clear understanding that we have one of two ways to go in terms of the focus of one’s life: That focus can be the family, church, and private community organizations or the main focus and support structure can be the state. There is no way to have limited government if the centrality of the family is undermined. Short term, it would appear (through the sleight-of-hand of debt) that these “social democracies” can provide what we need. But the genius of Steyn’s books and articles is that he shows how and why this will all come crashing down.

      National Review is lost in the wilderness. I think they’ve absorbed the implicit Leftist message of “non-judgmentalism.” When’s the last time you heard anyone as NRO say “They should not allow that.” It almost never happens. Most of their “journalism” (and that includes Steyn a great deal of the time as well) is simply a description of what is going on. But you’ll find few prescriptions regarding moral issues. Like the Left, if there is a moral-like prescription at all, it will be in regards to financial things.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      NR was bought by a NY financier. Two strikes against him already. He’s in NYC which is a very liberal city and further he is plutocrat. Sorry if I offend some of the other readers here, but if you haven’t figured out that these Wall Street types do not feel they are bound by the same rules as the little people, well what can I say? They don’t believe in the free market, they are happy to work somewhat like fascists where the State and Private Industry work together to the disadvantage of the rest of us.

      As a class, does anyone really believe they are “conservatives”? As has been mentioned before in this blog, the upper and lower classes are noted for despising middle class morality and believe middle class “norms” are passe’. ” Damn those people, if conservatives get into power they will screw things up as money isn’t the only think important to them.” That’s the rub. People who are not complete materialists are hard to control.

      And as a group, the plutocrats have conspired with the government types to do a good job of screwing the American people. They don’t care about anything but making money and gathering power unto themselves. A bunch of absolute materialists who pretty much agree with Leftist that life is economics and economics is politics.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yeah, there is that angle to it as well. So perhaps we can summarize thusly about what waters down people’s conservatism:

        1) Money
        2) A hip secular non-judgmentalism
        3) The conceit of better-than-thou

        And if someone is liberal just because they live in NYC, then that is to ignore the first commandment of being a conservative: Self-consciously deciding what is right or what works better rather than just floating mindlessly in a sea of whatever cultural fad is ascendant at the moment.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I don’t think it is money per se. The Bible didn’t say “money is the root of all evil”, it said “the love of money is the root of all evil”. And whether one is a believer or not, there is a lot of wisdom in that.

          What is specific to what I am talking about is the “financial class” using the proliferation of funny money as issued by the Fed in order to line their pockets. Inflation is their tool. According to official calculations, the inflation adjusted value of the US dollar since the founding of the Fed is less than 5 cents. I think that is being generous.

          The costs of the World Wars made it difficult to pay back government debt dollar for dollar, so inflation helped reduce the real amount which was paid back. But what really sped things along was the nullification of the Breton Woods agreement and taking the dollar off gold. A short time thereafter came the first Arab oil embargo and the resultant rise in the price of oil, caused huge inflation and a problem with what to do with all the new petrol dollars. Those dollars had to be recycled and the financiers in NYC and London had to figure out new ways to use them. They came up with ever more fanciful ways to cycle this money through an system which didn’t really need it. Happily for them, the US government decided to pile on more and more debt so a small group of financial companies in NYC were able to monopolize the issuance of US government debt through their good services. The Arab oil money was pretty much absorbed into the system and came back to the USA.

          Not satisfied with that, the wise men of government and business decided that the money they were making in the US and Europe was simply not enough and given the aging populations, was bound to slow down. They then decided to bring China into the world economic system knowing it would put huge downward pressure on earnings of workers in the US. With China rising, a new fount of surplus dollars spewed out of virgin territory which gave the money men new life. Of course, this new money had to find somewhere to go and the US national debt served as a wonderful sponge for it. And every time new debt was issued the boys from Wall Street got a cut.

          With all this new money they had to invent new financial instruments to funnel the river of cash through. I am not talking about instruments through which the money would be used to found new companies or the like. No, I am talking about instruments which were used for mere speculation and to help them along they had to give them a fancy new name; derivatives. The financial guys made a commission on every sale and purchase of such derivatives. And the financial men went to the holders of the vast quantities of cash, who were relatively few, the Chinese government in its various forms, the Arab royal family, Teachers’ retirement funds and the like, and convinced them to “invest” their money with them.

          Soon, commissions were not enough and it is hard to earn a significant percentage of profits when interest rates are low so the financial guys, who always styled themselves Bankers, showed themselves to be what they really were, speculators with other people’s money.

          The money got so cheap for so long, thank you Allen Greenspan, that big borrowers were virtually being paid to borrow money. (When inflation is taken into account) Of course, when such things happen bad results follow. This is the way of the world. The housing bubble was foreseeable and it was foreseen by some. But what made it so dangerous and why it continued so long was that the government was in bed with the plutocrats pushing the insanity. And when it went boom, did the plutocrats lose? No, they got TARP and some very interesting ways to recoup money on bad mortgages which were completely unethical.

          Have any of the plutocrats gone to jail for the debacle? No. Did they understand what they were doing while the whole thing was going on? I ask you to answer that question yourselves. People who graduated from the best universities, had the highest IQ’s, had the best information available, had years of experience, should they have known?

          After my only slightly exaggerated ramblings, I want to point out that I am not against financiers. I am only against financiers who own and are owned by the government and use public money to line their pockets and pay for their mistakes. I really don’t like it when they pretend to be anything other that the blood sucking parasites that they are and try to tell us they are trying to help the economy through investments when they are really running the world’s biggest casino and they are the house. Their motto is “Heads we win, Tails you loose”.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A good example of the corrupt financier is George Soros, leftist bankroller. His wealth comes from currency manipulation, beggaring others (such as Malaysia, where his misdeeds have been used to justify their Islamist anti-Semitism) for his benefit. Yet the Occupiers who denounced people like the Kochs and Rupert Murdoch (none of them the sort of financiers they complained about) ignored him due to his bankrolling of their pet causes.

            Note that Soros has bet against the US dollar — and his client, Barry Screwtape Obama, has adopted fiscal and financial policies that benefit Soros’s bet at the expense of the citizens on whose behalf the Fascist Messiah affects to work. When he and his allies are willing to challenge Soros, I will take the sincerity of their complaints about ‘income inequality” seriously.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        That explains a lot. One wonders if the GOP focus on big money (such as the Cheap Labor Lobby and their push for legalizing illegal aliens) is actually funded by supporters of minor parties such as the Constitution Party (which stand to gain votes if the GOP finally sells out conservatives completely). Or perhaps they want to see the Tea Partiers combine with the Occupiers (perhaps failing to notice that the former have been toilet-trained and know how to use weapons).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I just want to say that with the addition of Lawrence here (I’ll probably always think of him as Lawrence but will try to get used to John), who misses reading NRO?

      What I do still find valuable about NRO is that the professional writers will often dig in and do a little research and provide some needed evidence to back up their arguments. When they do so, and do so fairly, they help to advance the conservative cause for all of us. And that’s because I think reality is firmly behind conservative principles. That ability to do good research includes people such as Tanner, Williamson, Cooke, and maybe one or two others (VDH and McCarthy obviously being in a different and higher league and do not always have to be pointed out).

      I appreciate the research that some of these guys do. But what NRO is light on is solid conservative philosophy. Hey, maybe there is no greater principle than following the money, following one’s peers, and/or maximizing one’s marketability. But certainly America was built upon grander principles than those.

      That’s why it’s both sad and maddening to see National Review lose its conservative footing. But at this point, who needs them? We’ve got a very sharp group here and we’re (and I don’t mean a royal “we,” I mean you should think of this as your site too) adding to it all the time.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, I still read some of the articles on NRO (I commented on a couple of them today, including a Goldberg piece), and there are still some familiar names there I can appreciate (including ladykrystyna and CCWriter, who used to appear here — and the latter is the one who put me on to this site).

        • Giovanna Visconti says:

          Fortunately, for me, I can read the NR writers I like elsewhere.
          I’m on VDH’s mailing list, as well as Charles Cooke’s; VDH can be read at his own web site and at Strategika, a site focusing mainly on military matters. He’s also available at PJ Media, along with Andy McCarthy.

          Will and Krauthammer are available, of course, at WaPo, and Sowell’s columns are syndicated all over the place.

          PJ Media is an excellent site, by the way, if you’re not familiar with it. It’s more interesting and diverse than NRO.

  10. Giovanna Visconti says:

    I just wanted to put in my two cents on the Steyn/National Review situation.

    I’ve been known at NRO as “Gryffindor1128,” but felt I could use my real name here. Besides, I’ve never really cared for the “Gryffindor” screen name.

    While I am a “Potter” fan, and rather like the word “Gryffindor,” I always seem to draw blanks when trying to come up with screen names and am never happy with those I choose! The easiest options are generally favorite Yankees (as in New York) or Cardinals (as in St. Louis) and I really shouldn’t deviate from those choices!

    Anyway, that said…to the point:

    First, as everyone else here has assumed, there is apparently a schism between Mark and National Review. It is possible he’s just taking a breather, or there may be contractual issues stipulating that either party can end the relationship at any time for whatever reason.

    To be clear, the “Happy Warrior” columns from the print edition of NR always appear at SteynOnline once the magazine has been mailed to subscribers and has hit the newsstands. Anyway, those columns are necessarily submitted well ahead of the publication date.

    There has been no NRO column for three weeks running, and even more telling, no “Corner” posts since the Steorts incident, other than “Mumbo-Jumbo for Beginners” which appeared just before Christmas.

    It is possible the lawsuit is preventing any explicit statements from either side about the status of their “relationship,” particularly if one or the other (or both!) really wants to end it.

    A very telling and important point about the lawsuit: The lawyers involved now represent only National Review and have withdrawn as Mark’s counsel by mutual consent apparently. He has until January 24th to advise the court of new counsel.

    Finally, as Brad and others noted, at SteynOnline this past week Mark linked to an article, “Eco-Warriors Stranded in the Antarctic,” dated January 8, 2014, which was published in both the English and Australian issues of The Spectator, and at their respective web sites!

    Mark hasn’t been carried in The Spectator for at least seven or eight years, I’d say. I don’t know if this signals his return on a permanent basis, but if it does, then perhaps that might be an indication that he’s seeking new and different outlets for his work.

    He also noted that the Orange County Register refused to run the “Age of Intolerance” column week before last! We’ll have to see what happens there.

    Personally, I don’t care if he leaves National Review—except for how that might affect him financially, and in terms of syndication.

    For a long time I’ve wished he could publish at outlets like Pajamas Media, perhaps even Breitbart, and some other notable and serious high-profile web sites, such as Gatestone, perhaps American Spectator, and even City Journal. I don’t know that his relationship with National Review inhibits those possibilities since both VDH and Andy McCarthy are carried consistently by PJ Media, for example.

    Additionally, Gene Reynolds of Instapundit fame actually extended Mark an offer at the PJ site shortly after the NRO brouhaha erupted.

    On the personal side, for reasons having to do with my own problems of procrastination, I had not sent NR what would have been my third donation to help fight the lawsuit. I had done so willingly twice before, and really wanted to again strictly because of Mark. Were he NOT involved in this suit, I would never have considered contributing even once because doing so is both impractical and difficult for me financially.

    Glad I didn’t send the third donation since it appears he and National Review are separate entities now. I wish there were a way to send to the money I had put aside directly to Mark, but I doubt he’s going to put a PayPal link on his web site and ask for donations!

    Indeed…just today (January 14th) he commented on this subject at SteynOnline as a “P.S.” to his commentary, “The Real Denier”:

    “(PS Several readers have asked if I have a legal-defense fund. No, and I don’t really care for them. But, if you want to support the cause of free speech, you could do far worse than buy a copy of Lights Out from the SteynOnline bookstore. Or, if you’re in the vicinity, swing by to one of the stops on my Florida tour – I’ll be giving away my antidote to Mann’s hockey stick, the Liberty Stick.)”

    Alas…I already OWN “Lights Out”! But if anyone here would like a copy, I’d be happy to pay for a few. It’s also available from Amazon and I could have it sent to you… 🙂

    If Mark returns to NRO, so will I. Otherwise, I’m boycotting the site.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      What an absolutely cool real name you have.

      And that’s very generous of you to offer a few copies of “Lights Out.” I hope several people take you up on that.

      • Giovanna Visconti says:

        Certainly! I still have available the money I had set aside for the lawsuit. 🙂

        And thanks for the compliment, Brad.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Very nice seeing another familiar name from NRO, and you do have some additional information. I first encountered the recent Steyn mockery of the frozen warmists on a link at HotAir.

      And I will note that, as a Harry Potter fan myself, when I had a chance to choose a college at InConJunction several years ago when the series was their convention theme, I chose Ravenclaw.

      • Giovanna Visconti says:

        I was getting a lot of that “Ravenclaw” biz over at NRO, Timothy, with hints that Ravenclaws were, after all, smarter ‘n the rest of us!

        I usually responded that Steyn would probably have been in Gryffindor–and we all know he’s smartest of us all. So there. 🙂

        Anyway, had I not decided finally just to use my own name here, I’d probably have used: Rivera42!

        “Frozen warmists”…niiice!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, I was never one of those who mocked you. After all, one reason I didn’t choose Gryffindor is that I don’t define myself by boldness or daring.

          • Giovanna Visconti says:

            Hey, I’ve never defined myself by those attributes either! But I do define Mark that way…and, as ladykrystyna knows, I’d DEFINITELY want to be in HIS house! 🙂

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m definitely Hufflepuff…if only because of their Steelers (black and gold) colors.

          • Giovanna Visconti says:

            So…maybe I can get Gryffindor’s colors changed to Pinstripes?

            Or at least red & white? (Cardinals colors).

            Ah, well, pitchers & catchers report on February 14th!…for the Yankees anyway! 🙂

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’m a Yankees fan, too, though my other team is the Astros rather than the Cardinals. Of course, with Bill de Blasio running New Barackum City today (and Andrew Cuomo the state) . . .

              • Giovanna Visconti says:

                The ‘Stros have no place to go but up this season. Although, I have to say, I don’t like the fact that we now have inter-league games every day because of their move. Hate inter-league, period.

                As far as “we” (the Yankees) are concerned: it’s gonna be a looong season, I fear. Huuuge problems remain in the rotation, and pretty much the ENTIRE infield! Even the pen is questionable.

            • ladykrystyna says:

              Yankee fan! I knew I liked you.


              • Giovanna Visconti says:

                Hey, Krys!

                Yanks and Cards, yes…and I am Gryffindor 1128, just so you know!

                I just responded to Dagny that I was glad to connect with some of the folks from NRO…since I’m boycotting the place unless Mark returns.

                BTW, the rift between him and NR might be sharper than many seem to think. He’s been silent on the subject except for links at SteynOnline to other sites that seem to think he’s in “big trouble” re the Mann lawsuit.

                If you scan through my original post above somewhere, I noted that the law firm originally defending NR AND Mark is now defending only NR, having withdrawn as Mark’s counsel, and he has until January 24th to notify the court of new counsel.

                Anyway, glad so “meet up” with you again, so to speak! 🙂

            • ladykrystyna says:

              Ah, a Yankee fan! I knew I liked you!


    • ladykrystyna says:

      A-ha, I found you, Gryffindor! Or should I say “Giovanna”. Which is a very pretty name.

      Glad to see you here. I’ve been AWOL for quite some time. (Sorry, Brad!).

      Hope you are sticking around.

      I’ve noticed all the same things about Steyn’s absence as well. It looks to me like it was likely Steyn’s decision, although the lawsuit could be the reason why NRO is not mentioning that it was their decision.

      Who knows.

      All I know is this – I miss him.


      • Timothy Lane says:

        Nice to see you back. We missed you here.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You’re always welcome here, LadyK. The premise of this site was that NRO had become so hamstrung with RINOism and Establishment Republicanism that is really wasn’t a central gathering place for those who wanted to heal the country instead of just run the existing bureaucracy. With the apparent parting with Steyn, this is even more so. It might not be long until good people such as McCarthy discover that they are aiding and abetting an entity that is no longer the solution but is part of the problem.

        • ladykrystyna says:

          Thanks, Brad. I have missed you guys. I’ll be checking in more often and I still owe you a few articles. 🙂

      • Giovanna Visconti says:

        Ooops! I just saw this post, Krys…after putting up a different comment and introducing myself under my real name.

        Thanks for welcoming me, and I hope you WILL be around more frequently. As I said in the other post, I see Dagny is here too, which is great.

        Anybody know where CCWriter is? I gather she’s one of the “Founding Fathers” of this site (it’s okay…a Founding “Mother” can be grouped as a “Founding Father!”)

        Hope everything’s okay with her and that she’ll be back soon.

      • Giovanna Visconti says:

        @ladykrystyna re missing Mark…I miss him too! 🙁

        However, I think the lawsuit may very well have something to do with the fact that neither he nor NR have said much about his apparent departure, particularly since it looks like he’s on his own now in that suit. It’s an awkward situation.

        BUT…I AM hoping he’s back permanently at The Spectator! It’s been about seven or eight years since he wrote for them. Maybe he’ll renew his relationship with the Telegraph too!

        On this side of the pond, I wish he’d resume writing for the New Criterion, and also perhaps become a fixture at Pajamas Media…



    Allow me to welcome you to ST on behalf of everyone here! (I’m not authorized to do any such thing, but I suspect I’m the only one online at the moment, so what the heck). You bring some interesting information with you, specifically the apparent split between Steyn’s defense and NR’s in the Mann lawsuit (I already knew about Steyn’s appearance in the Spectator). At first glance, this might seem to be a side-effect of the dust-up over Steyn’s GLAAD column, but it occurs to me that in fact the cause/effect relationship may run in the other direction.

    For however bitter Steyn may have been over Jason Steorts undercutting him publicly on NRO, it always seemed a little unlikely to me that this alone would be sufficient cause for Steyn to pull his column from NR, especially when Jack Fowler went out of his way to take his side in the “controversy” (as the publisher, he seldom writes for publication on NRO). But suppose instead that there has for some time been a rift between Steyn and NR’s attorneys on how best to fight the case: corporate attorneys being what they are, they almost always try to pursue a settlement rather than fight a lawsuit to its conclusion. It’s hard to picture Steyn being on board with paying Mann even token damages. Following this admittedly speculative line, we can see that an uneasy alliance of convenience against a common enemy (Mann) might not survive the GLAAD issue – perhaps Steyn decided he’d be better off on his own and pulled the column, or perhaps NRO’s lawyers are prepared to sacrifice Steyn in the Mann lawsuit and pressured Fowler to stop running Steyn’s column.

    This would also explain why we have heard nothing from either Steyn (who would have little reason to go on covering for NRO if he’d pulled his column from them) or NRO’s editors (who should understand their readers expect and deserve an explanation of why they dumped Steyn, if that’s what happened): such explanations could conceivably be used by Mann against both Steyn and NRO, although I admit that’s something of a stretch (indeed, almost as much of a stretch as Mann’s “hockey stick” graph).

    Anyway, welcome again, Giovanna!

    • Giovanna Visconti says:

      Thanks, Nahalkides. Everyone’s been very welcoming.

      I agree particularly with your point about Mann’s legal team being able potentially to use a rift between the defendants to their detriment. However, if the suit drags on, and Mark doesn’t appear in the magazine for months, SOMETHING is going to have to be said regardless of how it might look.

      However, I do think the reason for the rift really WAS the column, Fowler notwithstanding, and Mark’s “irritation” over Steorts’s tut-tutting nonsense, AND–certainly to me!–his audacity in criticizing Mark’s WRITING! As I said then, in effect: Who the hell is this twerp to “grade” Mark Steyn, as if he’s some sophomore English major handing in a test essay?

      Although Mark’s objections really, really were more to the SUBSTANCE of Steorts’s mealy-mouthed comments and his failure to grasp the seriousness of WHAT Mark was saying in that column!

      There may have been tension between Mark and the editors for a while; it’s possible, I guess. We really don’t know.

      If you read a lot of Mark in other outlets, you will notice that however unconstrained you may think his NR columns have been, his writing has a much “freer” and more biting feel to it in other places. He’s more hard-hitting even when he subs for Rush, and THERE he’s a guest and has to be somewhat careful that he doesn’t create problems for Rush.

      However, Mark is really a “British” writer stylistically, and the best English writers are far less constrained, much more combative than most American writers are. Well, they WERE anyway…before, of course, the British government began to interfere more recently with the newspapers, and with television/radio content.

      But Mark has published collections of cultural/political columns in book form that go back as far as the 80s, and I can’t imagine some of those columns ever being published here in most mainstream outlets.

      Regardless of all that, I’m willing to bet that NR is uneasy and unhappy being sued. Understood. I’m sure Mark would rather not go through it again either.

      ALTHOUGH, as I wrote in one of my comments at NRO, they have editors, even for the “Corner,” and they obviously let Mark’s original post about Mann pass without hesitation!

      And as far as attorneys wanting to settle rather than fight a lawsuit? Well, some don’t! For example, if you’re sleaze-bag Alex Rodriguez’s equally sleazy collection of “mob” lawyers! 🙂

      What an unbelievable bunch: the plaintiff AND his cruddy crew of lawyers! He is one sick, stupid puppy. 🙂

      P.S.: Perhaps somebody can educate me on how to use various attributes (like italics and bolding, etc.). I’m not at all clear on where to place those and how to turn them on and off!

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Italics and other attributes are available if you write an article, but I don’t know how to do them for ordinary posts, any more than I knew how on Disqus. Most likely there are specific keystrokes, but I don’t know them. (I do FOSFAX on that old relic WordStar on that even older relic MS-DOS. It works for us very nicely. Word for Windows creates double-sized files, and WordPerfect for Windows shows spacing on the screen in a frustrating way.)

        • Giovanna Visconti says:

          Timothy! A man after my own heart!!

          WHO remembers Wordstar?? My GOODNESS! Wow. I used it a few times back in the day…even owned a couple of copies of a word processing program called MultiMate. But eventually WordPerfect took over the word processing market and I owned at least three versions of that before the company was bought out by Corel. By that time Windows had eclipsed DOS usage in the enterprise and so Word became…the word! 🙂

          BTW, I don’t recall on-screen spacing problems with WordPerfect. Just wondering: do you have “justification” turned on perhaps? That would affect text spacing.

          Sometimes I DO miss DOS, though…it was a lot easier to change things in Windows 3.1 by editing batch files in DOS than it is to tiptoe through the Registry in current versions of Windows!

          I’m sticking with Windows 7 right now and watching what happens in the PC market with Windows 8.1. Apparently, Windows 9 is on the horizon already for 2015 since Windows 8 stumbled badly out of the gate.

          IF I have to make a change again I just MIGHT pack it in and move to a Mac next time.

          I never understood how to edit text in Disqus either so you were certainly not alone there!

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Editing in Disqus can be done by selecting the Edit function, positioning the prompt where you want, and making the changes. I’ve found it VERY useful.

            By the way, just out of curiosity, is there any link between you (or your in-laws, perhaps) and the Visconti who ruled Milan (I think) back around 1500 or so?

            • Giovanna Visconti says:

              “…is there any link between you (or your in-laws, perhaps) and the Visconti who ruled Milan (I think) back around 1500 or so?”

              Oh, probably…somewhere…I suppose. But I’m fourth-generation American so I’ve no connection to things “Italian,” other than food, opera (although I’m just as much a German opera fan) and art, although I’m less knowledgeable about the latter than I am about music.

              In terms of personal connection to another country/culture, I’m an Anglophile more than anything else.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Replace the “[” or “]” with a “< " or ">” in actual practice:

        [em]italic[/em] or [i]italic[/i]
        [strong]bold[/strong] or [b]bold[/b]
        [blockquote]quoted text[/blockquote]

        [a href=”html.address” target=”_blank”]The Link Text[/a]

        • Giovanna Visconti says:

          Ah…thanks, Brad. I THINK I understand.

          So that last example:

          [a href=”html.address” target=”_blank”]The Link Text[/a]

          would be used to insert a URL link?

          You can’t reduce font size though, I gather.

          I attempted to italicize one word last night and thought I’d done it correctly based on those somewhat cryptic examples underneath the comment box…but two entire paragraphs wound up italicized. So THAT didn’t quite work!


            Most probably you didn’t have the “italics off” tag quite right. It’s [/i], with < and > replacing the square brackets, as Brad indicated. Any slight typo when using HTML tags and the result can be rather strange.

            • Giovanna Visconti says:

              I thought I DID use the “off” tag, but I didn’t use the forward slash before the “i.” Obviously that was one problem!

              Thanks to everyone who has responded with instructions. I really appreciate that.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, as Nahalkides said, you probably just forgot the closing tag. And remember to substitute the “< " for the "[" and the ">” for the “]” in the above samples, keeping the back-slash “/” where it is used in the examples as well.

            As for the link, these are very fussy because of spacing issues. You have to have spaces where I have spaces above. And the quote ” characters must not be true open-quote and end-quote characters (which some word processors will automatically substitute). They must be the generic inch-mark.

            And, yes, just insert whatever html address you want where I have html.address. And be sure to include the quotes and the rest of the stuff exactly as I have it.

            You don’t technically need the part that has target=”_blank”. That’s just a courtesy to users. It makes sure that the link opens in another page or browser tab so that you don’t lose your place. You can do as you please, but I have this as the default behavior for all links in the articles. I just hate hitting a link and losing my place in an article.

            • Giovanna Visconti says:

              Right. Thanks, Brad.

              I’ll review all the helpful suggestions carefully–and hope I eventually “get it.” 🙂

  12. griffonn says:

    Whoops! Ignore my posting on the other thread asking if you guys were following the Mark Steyn drama…

  13. John Kirke John Kirke says:

    Interesting. NRO’s public Twitter list, @NRO/teamnro, supplies the feed that they put at the top of the Corner. It includes Mark Steyn on the wallpaper, but not in the member list. Jonah, Lowry, Ponnuru, McCarthy, Cooke, Miller, Geraghty, and Lopez are all there, but not Steyn.

    I’m not sure that’s always been the case, but it’s not at all clear that that can be verified.

    • John Kirke John Kirke says:

      And from 2 hours ago…

      Follow your favorite NR writer! #FF: @RichLowry, @JonahNRO, @KathrynLopez, @jimgeraghty, @charlescwcooke, @jackfowler, @BillBuckleyNR— National Review (@NRO) January 17, 2014

      Buckley’s presumably ghostwritten Twitter feed is mentioned, but not Steyn’s.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        And as of just now, there’s no Friday night article by Steyn, and it’s reasonable to assume there won’t be one later. That makes 4 weeks in a row now. On the other hand, I do recall that a few years ago, Steyn’s NR column was temporarily replaced by Christopher Buckley (a fine novelist, but overall clear evidence of the Theory of Human Devolution).

      • Giovanna Visconti says:

        Telling indeed!

        All these “quiet” and “under-the-radar” implications that NR and Mark have parted ways.

        I know I’m being repetitive, but I DO think if there were no pending lawsuit, we’d have had an “explanatory” Steyn-as-Derbyshire” column from Lowry by now.

        Well, anyway, first came the split with the lawyers in the Mann suit. Perhaps once Mark has obtained new counsel and everything’s in place, there’ll be a statement making things “official.”

        As I said at NRO, being “Derbed” is rather like being “Borked,” only for writers.

  14. Giovanna Visconti says:

    Some here may know by now that Mark has filed a motion in the Mann case. He also indicated to the court that he will represent himself while reserving “the right to obtain new counsel as the case proceeds.”

    So it looks, at the moment anyway, like there will be a trial since the new judge has denied the motion to dismiss, and denied Mark’s motion to vacate.

    Given all the legalese flying around, I’m presently reading through Mark’s actual motion, as well as learning what I can about anti-SLAPP law.

    Personally, as Mark’s absence from NRO lengthened, I began to think that there was more to this rift than just the Steorts incident, and judging by Mark’s latest commentary at SteynOnline, it looks like I might have been correct.

    Apparently he has been at odds with National Review and their counsel for the last year about how this suit should be approached. NR and their lawyers adopted the lay low and don’t-rock- the-boat approach, but Mark disagreed.

    He also indicated that “they” had spent over $500,000 so far–with nothing to show for it because it has dragged on so long. Ergo: the process IS the punishment. I don’t know how much of that amount is his personal expense, but it makes me quite angry to think he’d have to be spending six figures on this damned abuse of what our legal system has become!

    Since he had to notify the court of new counsel by January 24th, I suspect he may have decided to represent himself until such time as he would need experienced lawyers if and when–and it looks like when!–this thing comes to trial. At least in the interim he doesn’t have to keep a lawyer on retainer, and pay him while everyone hurries up and waits.

    Anyone interested can follow a link to his actual motion from within his commentary at SteynOnline.

    While I’ve no doubt he can defend himself on the stand, under cross-examination–as he says he intends to do–I DO think, at that time, he would need professional counsel on his side.

    Meantime, this is one more example of a PC world closing in on free speech and the daily shredding of the first amendment in what has been aptly called: “Studied Censorship,” and I quote from Edward Cline:

    “Stealth treason by usurping the Constitution. Stealth surrender to Iran. Stealth indoctrination of children in schools. Stealth fascism. Stealth amnesty. Stealth wealth distribution. Stealth health care.

    Stealth censorship. It’s all of a piece in the name of domestic tranquility. Its feasibility must be “studied.” The nation must be made “safe” from provocative words. If that means shutting up anyone who offends with his words, and preventing projected or hypothetical or imaginary violence, so be it.

    It won’t be called ‘censorship.’ It will be called the enforcement of ‘responsible speech.’ ‘Irresponsible’ speech must be codified into the criminal law and punished.”

    Think Mr. Cline is exaggerating? Think again:

    “On January 16th, Pete Kasperowicz reported in The Hill in his article, ’13 House Democrats offer bill demanding government study on Internet hate speech’:

    “Thirteen House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to study hate speech on the Internet, mobile phones and television and radio.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and 12 other House Democrats, would look at how those media are used to “advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate.

    Jeffries says the NTIA needs to see how hate speech is transmitted over the various new modes of communication that have sprung up over the last two decades.

    ‘The Internet is a wonderful vehicle for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” he said. “But it can also be used as a platform to promote hate and target vulnerable individuals.

    This legislation will mandate a comprehensive analysis of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of the First Amendment protection.’

    His legislation requires the NTIA to update its report to examine how the Internet and mobile phones can be used to encourage and commit hate crimes based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.”

    Freedom of speech is the most important right granted us under the Constitution. If we don’t have that, we don’t have anything. Everything else flows from it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, your last two sentences help explain why liberals hate free speech (at least when their enemies — those who disagree with them — benefit from it). Since we have a First Amendment, they have to use stealthy tricks, such as “hate” crime laws and barratry (and the IRS and other government enforcement organizations), to suppress dissent. Conservatives must fight back against the liberal thought police by every legitimate means — including offering NO voluntary cooperation with the federal government as long as the Fascist Party is in charge of it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        There are several ways of viewing this.

        1) Liberals are so gosh darn nice, and care so deeply about everyone, that “hurt feelings” is the new standard for free speech.

        2) Liberals wish to criminalize political differences

        Again, we do hit those two tiers, for both aspects are true. You have the useful idiots (influenced more by the notion of #1) and the Obama types who operate via #2.

        The third factor is our retarded culture which seeks to do the least amount of thinking at every juncture. The idea of free speech is a noble, complex, and civilized way of being. It has taken mankind a long time to get past mere “hurt feelings” or “dishonor” as the be-all, end-all of civil engagement. With free speech we enter the public realm acknowledging that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We acknowledge that the alternative to free speech is a system wherein (as the politically correct police are trying to do now) people feign great offense and demand satisfaction merely for hearing words that are contrary to what they believe or what they say to be true.

        Under the guise of “sensitivity,” the Left is dragging us back to the days when man was primitive and words were like swords, where words could not be dismissed as simply another man’s opinion.

        This is why I say the Left is rotten. That they call themselves “Progressive” is neither her nor there. And we see Mark Steyn on the cutting edge of the liberal fascists who wish to criminalize mere differences of opinion. We also see a state religion of sorts gathering about us, and one of the tenets of this religion is environmental wacko-ism. For all intents and purposes, the Left is trying to pass anti-blasphemy laws. People should wake up and see the rot and filth that is part and parcel of these supposedly “nice” and “sensitive” people. America, wake the hell up.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The point about feigning great offense brings up a major aspect of liberal political correctness: in effect, it gives the person with the biggest chip on his shoulder a veto on what can be said (provided, of course, it’s not a conservative chip — liberals who proclaim their sympathy for the handicapped see nothing wrong with Wendy Davis and her supporters mocking Greg Abbott for being wheelchair-bound), whether or not the person even really feels offended.

  15. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, as of now there’s still no Steyn on NRO, and a quick look at the blogs shows no comments on this, probably because no one bothered. Both of the items that have occupied his usual spot (by Cooke and Goldberg) dealt with social conservative issues — the gross liberal distortion of Huckabee’s comments (Cooke) and Wendy Davis’s meltdown and her defense by idiots like Kirsten Powers (Goldberg). The latter brought up a German word, Frendschaemen, which he had recently learned and which refers to a feeling of shame for someone else who should be ashamed and isn’t. (I brought up the Dutch word Plunderbund, which refers to an organization formed to loot the public and which I use to describe the Democratic Party).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Conservatives have one of two jobs now. They can either spin various nice tales that try to disguise the fact that the Republican Party is now oriented toward simply managing the welfare state or they can stand against socialism and all the cultural offshoots of collectivism and the anarchy induced by Leftism. I guess a third alternative is that they can write books that profit from this mess but who are otherwise embedded in this destructive statist establishment and are too good to get lost in those nasty “social” issues.

      We’ve seen which side Steyn is on. And we’ve seen which side many of the other “conservatives” are on. And I’m not impressed by clever minds either making excuses for socialism/Leftism or craftily avoiding the issue altogether. My views, of course, are based on the point of view that America is something objectively grand and worth saving.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Incidentally, there’s a website called thekronies.com which has a set of superhero cartoons about the Kronies, who use the power of their leader (Big G) to fight off their small-business rivals, the Entrepreneurs. (“Who needs the rule book? They made the rules. They’re connected.”) Big G is attired in both red and blue.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Fremdschaemen is a new one on me, but German has the ability to combine words in such a way as to create good shortcuts to meaning.

      As a Texan, let me make a prediction……Wendy Davis is toast. But to be honest, I believe there was little chance for her to win in the first place. When are all those out of State contributors going to demand a refund of their contributions?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I’ve commented on one NRO posting that Davis is “the gift that keeps on giving”. Hopefully her rich Molochite friends will continue to pour money down her rathole.

      • LibertyMark says:

        If, only, Mr. Zu. Might I remind you of Corey Booker, Fauxcahontas, Terry McAuliffe? Clearly these people should be on the ash heap of history this very minute, but alas, they are ensconced upon heaps of power instead.

        Wilkow on Sirius today (his highlights for the week), chided a caller for this very assumption. Semper vigilans, Patriots…

        • Timothy Lane says:

          You have a point, but remember that McAuliffe barely won in purple Virginia despite having nearly every advantage, Blonde Squaw With Empty Head won in the People’s Democratic Republic of Taxachusetts, and Booker won in New Jersey by a smaller-than-expected margin against an underfunded opponent. Davis has none of those advantages in her race, so I hope her fellow Molochites shower her with money that could do some real harm elsewhere.

  16. John Kirke John Kirke says:

    “Molochite.” Nice. Martin McPhillips, who made the rare appearance in the NRO comments coined a great phrase for the Democrats: the human sacrifice and sodomy cult.

    Steyn’s posted a lot at his site over the last few days, including his usual habit of republishing the Happy Warrior column from the last page of NR’s print edition around the time it leaves the newsstands. The column remains in the upcoming issue’s table of contents, but it looks like that’s his only work with National Review for the time being, and I’m guessing he’ll use it to try to rouse a more rigorous defense for free speech.

    The differences in tactics over the Mann lawsuit seems to be the major issue, and Steorts’ snark about the “fruit cordial”column is a minor note on the same theme: NR seems unwilling to be vocal defenders of lively speech.

    Some choice quotes, emphasis mine — first, from last Wednesday’s “trial and error” post.

    As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don’t-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice.

    On Friday, Steyn posted a transcript of an interview with Mariah Blake of Mother Jones(!!), which I’m sure is the first place I’d accept an interview from if I had issues with NR.

    BLAKE: I notice that you haven’t done any new posts for the National Review since Dec. 24, whereas normally you’re quite prolific. Are you still writing for NRO?

    STEYN: Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. But I am in the current print edition, gently calling for a little bit more of a spirited free speech campaign on this. That’s how I won and got the relevant law changed up in Canada.

    And, then, two days before the NR’s print date — and on a Saturday, in a sense replacing NRO’s weekend Steyn — he republished the Happy Warrior column, on the “SLAPPstick farce”.

    But by far the biggest consequence of this ridiculous case is in these pages. If you are only a print subscriber (as opposed to an Internet reader), you will have no idea that NATIONAL REVIEW is in the midst of a big free-speech battle on one of the critical public-policy issues of our time. There have been no cover stories, no investigative journalism, no eviscerating editorials. NR runs specialized blogs on both legal matters and climate change, yet they too have been all but entirely silent. I assume, from this lonely outpost on NR’s wilder shores, that back at head office they take the view that it’s best not to say anything while this matter works its way through the courts. In other words, a law explicitly intended to prevent litigious bullies from forcing their victims to withdraw from ‘public participation’ has resulted in the defendants themselves voluntarily withdrawing from ‘public participation.’ That’s nuts.

    For myself, there are still alot of questions I’d love to see answered. Who decided Steyn would no longer write at NRO, and is this permanent? For that matter, why is everyone being oblique about all this?

    But the gist is what matters. Steyn thinks NR isn’t standing athwart on the issue that ought to be paramount for any publication: free speech. Mentioning the Canadian civil-rights farce, Steyn notes that “Maclean’s, who are far less ideologically simpatico to me than NR, nevertheless understood the stakes.”

    National Review does not.

    Mann and the legal system that has enabled his harassment ought both to be humiliated, for the sake of free speech, NOT the former flagship that is a corpse not yet buried.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      John, thanks for the superb update. You really do justice to the idea of evaluation and the sharing of relevant information. I particularly like this quote from Steyn that you included:

      In other words, a law explicitly intended to prevent litigious bullies from forcing their victims to withdraw from ‘public participation’ has resulted in the defendants themselves voluntarily withdrawing from ‘public participation.’ That’s nuts.”

      You are a very thoughtful asset to this site. And hopefully this site will become an asset (however small) to keeping the idea of America and freedom alive. God bless Mark Steyn.

      • John Kirke John Kirke says:


        It would be kinda amazing to me that the pro and amateur “big fish” in the conservative blogosphere haven’t made more noise about all this, except I’m beginning to see that it’s all one giant, back-scratching mutual admiration society. There’s no other explanation for why, e.g., Jason Lee Steorts even matters at a place like NR.

        The story of the widow’s mite reassures me that the important thing isn’t the size of the impact a person makes, but what he does with what little he has.

        We’re standing to be counted with Steyn. NR, AmSpec, Commentary, and the Weekly Standard have much larger pulpits, and it’ll be to their shame that they’re being so silent about all this — their shame, and if there’s any justice, their ultimate obsolescence. We don’t have the resources to waste polishing swords that go unused or are being pointed in the wrong direction.

        This month’s been crazy in my personal life (that’s more a subject for email), but I should have an essay to you today or tomorrow about this very subject, and I may have a second essay to you by Sunday evening.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m beginning to see that it’s all one giant, back-scratching mutual admiration society.

          I call it “The Conservative Book Club,” but it amounts to the same thing.

          I’m looking forward to your essay, John.

        • griffonn says:

          their shame, and if there’s any justice, their ultimate obsolescence.

          I absolutely believe we’re inching toward a cliff.

          It will either be a “tipping point” (a sudden paradigm shift in our favor) or a collapse (as in, fall of Rome, Greenland duking it out style kapoom).

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I went and checked his website and noticed his comments about the first judge on Michael Mann’s SLAPP against free speech, especially her incompetence. Since I’m not on Facebook, I thought I’d mention here for anyone interested a tidbit that I think came from Robert Bork many years ago: After complaining for years about poor federal judges, he checked out state judges and found that they were often even worse — such as one who became known as “Judge Necessity” in honor of the aphorism that “Necessity knows no law.” I was also wondering about the political balance of those states that passed laws against SLAPP suits, a subject he didn’t discuss.

  17. ladykrystyna says:

    In case anyone catches this:


    If you have some time to listen to the whole thing, please do. It’s wonderful to hear Steyn’s voice.

    If you get to around the 38 minute mark or so, they start talking about why he’s not on NRO anymore.

    The answer is cryptic, but it sounds like it is a kind of self-imposed thing. Once they parted ways on the legal field, that bled into his writing for NRO.

    Ah well. You can still catch him on steynonline.com.

    Better than nothing.

  18. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, I notice that Steyn has his usual piece in the latest National Review (which we just got yesterday), and that a day or two back I noticed that NRO still listed him (I didn’t pay close attention, so this may simply have been advertising his presence on a cruise). He also guest-hosted Rush Limbaugh today, apparently because the latter was ailing (but is expected back tomorrow). This would seem to indicate that he has not been kicked out, nor has he formally severed his ties to NRO, but obviously he no longer writes for NRO.

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Thanks to Mr. Kung for pointing out this recent post by Mark Steyn over at his site. In short, Steyn and NRO have parted ways….entirely due to NRO’s bizarre political correctness (my words, not Steyn’s, but you can read between the lines).

    Starting up this site was good timing. NRO was falling (obviously, as so many have witnessed) just as other things (small though they may be) are rising. And good luck to Mark Steyn. I may do a graphic or something to help spur a few dollars for his legal expenses. If anyone knows how to contact Steyn, please do on behalf of this site. I’d like to get some synergy going in terms of supporting him.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Actually, Steyn doesn’t say that he and NR/NRO are at odds on anything other than how to respond to the Mann nuisance suit. But it’s observable that Steyn no longer appears anywhere on NRO, and isn’t even in the latest NR.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        And now he isn’t in the April 7 National Review either. No statement by either the magazine or Steyn as to why.


          Apparently NRO wants to delay the discovery process and Steyn does not. It’s hard to fathom what benefit NRO could possibly get from dragging out discovery – the longer it goes on, the higher the legal bills – and they should already have enough evidence to wrap Mann’s “hockey stick” graph around his neck if, as I believe, they can show that Mann’s methodology produces essentially the same graph with a vastly different set of input data. I’ll renew my guess that NRO’s lawyers, who may be hoping to settle the lawsuit rather than win it, are worried about what Steyn might say in NRO if his column still appeared there. Not an aggressive enough strategy to suit me.

  20. Williams says:

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    After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website.
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      Thanks very much for the compliment. Google’s ranking algorithm is proprietary so I don’t know exactly how they come up with site ranks, but of course those who pay Google to turn up on certain search phrases will always come out ahead of sites like ST, which have a lot of heart but very little money and certainly not enough to pay Google anything. So while the top political websites are indeed generally “full of garbage,” unfortunately they have a lot more money than Brad does!

      Anyway, now that you’ve found us I hope you’ll return and check out our wealth of other articles in the future.
      — Nik

  21. Pingback: Why Mark Steyn Is No Longer with National Review | Enjoyment and Contemplation

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