Talk:Mark Steyn

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  • [B]y relieving the individual of the need to have ‘private virtues,’ you’ll ensure that they wither away to the edges of society...
  • On America's international image: "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist."
  • On the CIA: "The CIA now functions in the same relation to President Bush as Pakistan's ISI does to General Musharraf. For Musharraf, the problem is the significant faction in the ISI that would like to kill him. Fortunately for Bush, if anyone at the CIA launched a plot to kill him, they would probably take out G. W. Bish, who runs a feed store in Idaho."
  • On Quebec: "The dumbest secession movement in the world: they want to leave Canada in order to set up a country that looks exactly the same - confiscatory taxation, moribund health service, no mail service on weekends."
  • On Canadian health care: "Unlike Britain but like North Korea, in Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted; 'America' is the name of Canada's private health care system."
  • On the Canadian flag: "At least the Red Ensign had the guts to be a boring flag, not a propaganda symbol."
  • On Denmark's flag planted on Arctic land claimed by Canada: "There's something Danish in the state of rotten."
  • "The EU's Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia has decided to shelve its report on the rise of anti-Semitism on the Continent. The problem, as reported in The Telegraph, is that the survey had found that 'many anti-Semitic incidents were carried out by Muslim and pro-Palestinian groups', and so a 'political decision' was taken not to publish it amid fears it would 'increase hostility towards Muslims.' Let's go back over that slowly and try not to get a headache: the EU's main concern about an actual epidemic of hate crimes against Jews is that it could provoke a hypothetical epidemic of hate crimes against extremist Muslims."
  • "Europe's ruling class has effortlessly refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, and I will defend to the death my right not to listen to you say it.

You might disapprove of what Le Pen says on immigration, but to declare that the subject cannot even be raised is profoundly unhealthy for a democracy. The problem with the old one-party states of Africa and Latin America was that they criminalized dissent; you could no longer criticize the President, you could only kill him. In the three-party one-party states of Europe, a similar process is under way: if the political culture forbids politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians, as they are doing in France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and elsewhere. Le Pen is not an aberration but the logical consequence."

  • "If Adolf Hitler were to return from wherever he is right now, what would he be most steamed about? That in some countries there are laws banning Nazi symbols and making Holocaust denial a crime? No, because that would testify to the force and endurance of his ideas — that 60 years on they're still so potent the state has to suppress them. What would bug him the most is that on Broadway and in the West End, Mel Brooks is peddling Nazi shtick in The Producers and audiences are howling with laughter. One reason why the English-speaking democracies were the only advanced nations not to fall for Nazism or Fascism is they simply found it too ridiculous."
  • On Christmas: "The Jews - the Ellis Island/Lower East Side generation - were merely the latest contributors to the American Christmas. For their first two centuries on this continent, the Anglo-Celtic settlers attached no significance to Christmas: it was another working day, unless it fell on a Sunday, in which case one went to church. It was later waves of immigrants — the Dutch, Germans and Scandinavians — who introduced most of the standard features we know today — trees, cards, Santa. Nothing embodies the American idea — e pluribus unum — better than the American Christmas. This is genuine multiculturalism: if the worry is separation of church and state, the American Christmas is surely the most successful separation you could devise - Jesus, Mary and Joseph are for home and church; the great secular trinity of Santa, Rudolph and Frosty are for school and mall."
  • "If you look at the range of Hollywood movies playing in most cities in the developing world, you'd hate the America they portray as well."
  • On the Israeli-Arab conflict: "In fact, there is a Palestinian state: it's called Jordan, whose population has always been majority Palestinian. It's not as big a state as it used to be, but that's because King Hussein, in the worst miscalculation of his long bravura highwire act, made the mistake of joining Nasser's 1967 war to destroy Israel. Hence the 'occupied territories' - they're occupied because the Arabs attacked Israel and lost."
  • On Newsweek's flushed Koran story: "In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar; they're both highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and are prone to fanatical, irrational, indestructible beliefs — not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom."
  • On the United Nations and Darfur: "The good people of Darfur have been entrusted to the legitimacy of the UN for more than two years and it's killing them. In 2004, after months of expressing deep concern, grave concern, deep concern over the graves and deep grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, Kofi Annan took decisive action and appointed a UN committee to look into what was going on. They eventually reported back that it wasn't genocide. Thank goodness for that. Because, as yet another Kofi-appointed UN committee boldly declared, "genocide anywhere is a threat to the security of all and should never be tolerated." So, fortunately, what's happening in the Sudan is not genocide. It's just hundreds of thousands of corpses who happen to be from the same ethnic group, which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone's dead, at which point the so-called "decent left" can support a "multinational" force under the auspices of the Arab League going in to ensure the corpses don't pollute the water supply."
  • On the Iraq war: "Another six weeks of insurgency sounds about right, after which it will peter out..."
  • On Judge Roberts' Senate confirmation hearings: "I would be in favor of these nomination hearings continuing on for another three months, three years, until the last registered Democrat on the planet has expired in shame at the pitiful spectacle of these 20 minute questions, content-free questions, dancing around a lot of irrelevant issues that only expose the Senators' lack of understanding of the matters they are supposed to be dealing with."
  • "Diversity" doesn’t extend to, say, some dirtpoor piece of fundamentalist white trash. Her presence wouldn't "enrich" anyone. "Diversity" means "more blacks." That's why traditional African-American colleges are exempt from its strictures: as 100% black schools, they're already as diverse as possible."
  • On Cherie Blair and 'Cheriegate': "Nude models, diet quacks, psychics: I cannot speak for Britain, but in North America these are three of the four categories of person that most of us spend the first 10 minutes of our day dumping from the in-box. If Cherie had a fourth confidante with a guaranteed plan to increase the length of Tony's penis by three inches, the Blairs would have a full set. They could throw the perfect spam dinner party."
  • On the 1997 UK General Election: "For those who can't stand the me-tooness of it, there are all kinds of malcontents' parties on the ballot this time, johnny-come-latelies to Screaming Lord Sutch's long-standing Monster Raving Loony Party. There's the Natural Law Party, which believes in better government through "yogic flying" - that is to say, bouncing vigorously up and down on mattresses. If that worked, the Tories would be a shoo-in."
  • Quoting General Charles Napier on how the British dealt with suttee in India: "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre. Beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom, and then we will follow ours."