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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Well, I indeed had the great opportunity to hear Mark Steyn speak at noon today. I actually walked over to the lecture hall behind the group he was walking with, so I knew I wasn't running late. He spoke for about 30 minutes, then answered questions for another 25. He began by making a comment on yesterday's murders at Virginia Tech. As our society and pundits are apt to do in situations such as that one, the "experts" are rushing to say how this shows that we need more gun control. However, Steyn insisted that, as always, the individuals are the ones who save the day and if you are want future VTU killings to be stopped sooner, letting people be armed is the key. Allowing for self-reliance and moving away from the nanny-state where the police are the only ones with the guns was Steyn's take on it. He is right, if there had been just one trained person nearby carrying a weapon, that killer would have been taken out with much fewer casualties. Instead, our college campuses have this inane rule that even if a person has a conceal-carry license, they are not allowed to carry that gun onto campus. It doesn't protect students, it makes them more vulnerable to attacks such as yesterday's.

Anyway, then Mr. Steyn got into his main subject matter (The Islamification of the world and the downfall of the "West"). He did so by mentioning four separate stories that have been printed this week in newspapers here and abroad. The first was one in the Minneapolis Star Tribune ("hardly readable" as Steyn called it, with which the audience heartily agreed) discussing a local college's decision to offer Muslim-only bathrooms that allow Muslims to wash their feet for prayer time. Then he pointed out one from the Wall Street Journal which talked about a Muslim imam in Indonesia who wants to transform that country into a radical Islamic state. The next was one from a Cambridge newspaper mentioning that a student in England had just profusely apologized for printing cartoons which may have mocked Islam (nevermind that it mocked all religions). The last article was one discussing the population crisis that Europe has encountered. Steyn said that in any given week, you can find very similar stories which fit certain categories and give you a picture of what is happening in the world.

He went more in depth and discussed the lack of cultural confidence that is prevalent in Europe and how that weakness is being exploited by radical Muslims. After a few more points, he took some questions. One question was something to the effect that he may pooh-pooh global warming, but does he see any value in alternate energies and the sort. He answered that global warming is a joke and he doesn't see how bankrupting the world's economies is going to make much of a difference except to kill many people in the third world who are relying on the developed world for survival. As for individual environmentalism, he doesn't see how "Hillary turning off the light to Bill's intern's room" makes a difference. However, he is very much in favor of destroying the oil industry and finding a new energy resource to make us no longer reliant on other countries. However, Steyn feels that ethanol and most of the current fads aren't going to be that solution.

I don't recall all of his speech, but suffice it to say, it was very enjoyable and he is definitely as entertaining of a speaker as he is a writer.

Next week, John Stossel is in town. I might just have to go to that...


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »