HH: I begin this Thursday as I do every Thursday when we are lucky with columnist of the world Mark Steyn. You can read all of Mark’s work at Steyonline.com. Mark I begin-I’m so glad that I have a Canadian to talk to today because I’m upset that the Canadians were rioting last night in Vancouver after losing. What would they have done if they had won?
MS: [laughing] Yeah. Actually, a pitiful night for the Canucks and a pitiful night for the city of Vancouver too. I think there’s nothing more pathetic than the sight of pampered, middle-class western elites rampaging through the city, and Canada regrettably has some of the most useless and incompetent, overpaid, over-unionized, over-privileged police forces in the world and as they did in the G20 in Toronto they proved unable and unwilling to restrain the rioters from the property damage they inflicted on law abiding businesses, but no doubt they will be back harassing law abiding citizens going about their business there. I’m afraid-the Canadian police actually, just to make a serious point, have seriously destroyed their reputation in recent years. You remember the famous motto of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Mounties always get their man.
MS: On the streets of Vancouver the police failed. When it’s a choice between always getting their man or getting you, the Canadian police would rather get you because it’s a lot easier.
HH: I think if you take the Canadian rights and add in the Greece riots and then contrast them what’s going on in Syria where Syria’s people are being mowed down in an effort to break an iron grip on their society it’s a shocking contrast.
MS: Oh it is. I would also add to that I happen to be on Piccadilly staying just around the corner during the riots there a couple of months ago where again the Metropolitan police lost control of the situation. Idiotic pampered beneficiaries of the wealthiest societies in human history smashing up store windows. In this case in Vancouver they smashed the bookstore windows but didn’t take any books. It’s doubtful they actual read any. I think these are-I think we are actually going to see a lot more of this, because I think as we move into the post prosperity era the idea of actually the liberation that comes with just rampaging and smashing up Western cities will prove to irresistible…
HH: Mark, Detroit had this problem as did Southern California in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach for a long time and then the police got serious and guess what? There is no problem after the police get serious.
MS: Yeah, and I think it depends on shrewd and savvy policing and there is a shortage of that in many counties and there is particularly in Canada. I mean the city of Toronto has one of the most idiotic police chiefs on this continent. I wouldn’t expect him to get any smarter about these things after his own riots or after Vancouver.
HH: Well let’s turn to Syria. I am amazed that day after day people are killed in Syria and the Western media their (a) it’s a difficult story to cover because they can’t get there but they seem almost indifferent to it. You have to dig in the New York Times to find that the guy who ran Syria tell this monster business man Rami Mahklouf, whose brother is like the CIA head in Syria. The West is just almost not paying attention.
MS: No, and you know it’s perplexing to me that they are far more interested in pro-Western dictators like Mubarak than they are in somebody like Assad. Now I’ve been in favor of knocking Assad for a decade. I think he’s weak. He’s not like his father. He is prepared to kill, but he’s not-he hasn’t that cunning that his father had and hereditary dictatorships in that sense are always weak. What’s fascinating about this story is that unlike Mubarak, who in the end didn’t have the guts as his fellow dictators would say to fire on the crowd and kill large numbers of people and he’s now awaiting trial and his sons are in jail. The message that we’re getting from The New York Times and other Western coverage is that the bloody and more brutal the dictatorship, the better the your chance of survival. If you’re a half way civilized dictatorship like Mubarak, the New York Times will give you a much harder time.
HH: And you will be doomed. Let me ask you now about the Weiner story. I hesitate to bring it up only because it is simply so tawdry, but he’s gone. He resigned today. Any farewell thoughts?
MS: No, except obviously he should go. What he did reflects badly on him. If we were to accept that it would reflect badly on us. What is fascinating to me about this that I can sympathize far more with a sad pathetic figure like Larry Craig from Idaho seeking, you know, brief encounters in an airport bathroom when nobody knows who he is and he’s just trying to find an outlet for whatever particular appetites he can’t reign in. The tweets of Anthony Weiner were-he says yeah, I’m a congressman, do you want to see me in my underwear?
MS: There’s actually something more disquieting about that. It belongs in the same crowd of corruption as the words of that revolting slug who is the head of IMF, Dominique Strauss Kahan, according to the maid’s testimony as he was attacking her he was saying, ‘Do you know who I am? Do you know who I am?’ I’m sick of the do you know who I am ruling class and that goes whether it’s John Kerry trying to get the best table in a restaurant or whether it’s Anthony Weiner trying to excite co-eds with his Tweets.
HH: Do you believe that he’ll be rehabilitated as quickly as Elliott Spitzer was?
MS: I think it’s very difficult, and I’m not sure that Spitzer has been-he’s rehabilitated on CNN which is the Siberia of rehabilitation.
HH: [laughs out loud!]
MS: I mean basically you-basically, I’ve never see Elliott Spitzer except for when my flight is delayed and I’m sitting at the gate for 12 hours and the 6 hour Wolf Blitzer Show ends and Elliott Spitzer comes on, and in the end I think there is just too much out there. I hate to say this but Anthony Weiner makes Elliott Spitzer look crafty in the sense that it was a $300 an hour hooker and he met her in a hotel room. Anthony Weiner is all out there on cyberspace and I think it’s going to be very difficult to launch the Weiner/Spitzer Hour on CNN and have people not aware of that while they are watching.
HH: Well I just flicked over to the CNN feed and there is John King talking to Wolf Blitzer and I maybe the only person watching. What did you think of John King’s New Hampshire debate moderating…
MS: Oh, absolutely terrible!
MS: I think I said in a random update at the Corner that John King makes Tim Pawlenty look like Lady Gaga. I mean the problem is you can’t have John King doing all that you know, this or that, Coke or Pepsi, boxers or briefs, Fox or CNN all those stupid little things he did because he doesn’t have the personality to carry it off so it seems stilted and labored and pitiful, and when you watch John King you realize why CNN is dying in the ratings. I don’t understand why Republican candidates put up with this. The questions of a two-hour show, one hour and forty-five minutes of it where questions designed to make Republican candidates look…
MS: Independent voters.
HH: Exactly and I don’t-Reince Priebus can’t change that fast enough. Got to change to jobs before I run out of time. Yesterday, I had Bernie Marcus the amazing founder of Home Depot on and I asked him about the President and Bernie said he just doesn’t understand it. He never worked a day in his life. How would he know it? Mark Steyn, I think the realization that is settling in and I don’t know that it’s anything less than concrete like in its setting that this guy doesn’t have a clue about the economy.
MS: No. He has no idea. I have a very small business and I made the mistake of hiring someone who is a resident in New York State. I was stunned shocked and eventually disgusted by the amount of paperwork, regulation and legislation. The cost of hiring someone in New York State. I would hire somebody from the jungles of Papua New Guinea before I would-because it would be easier than hiring someone from New York State. The cost of hiring American workers is too high thanks to people like Barak Obama who have never made a payroll in their life.
HH: Now you know, you’re going to get like a thousand e-mails from Papua New Guinea offering you to have a relationship. . .
MS: The number of intern applications we get from the jungles of Papu we’re just swamped in them!
HH: One minute: Who won the debate?
MS: Well I think it was-Romney is the front runner and Romney certainly emerged as presidential by the end of the debate. The trick was to be the alternative to Romney and I think Michelle Bachmann was extremely impressive there. In that sense, Tim Pawlenty fell back because Pawlenty was supposed to be the alternative to Romney and I think that Pawlenty’s lack of performance pushed him into the second tier by the end of the evening.
HH: Mark Steyn, always a pleasure talking to you. Steynonline.com for all Mark’s essays.