Mark Steyn on Unions: If a 1940s man were dropped in Detroit, he’d think Japan won WWII by nuking it

Mark Steyn was on yesterday with Michael Coren and among the topics they discussed was the violent union protests in Michigan this week. Pointing out the destructive power of the unions, Steyn compared Detroit to Hiroshima saying that if a man from the 1940s were transported to Detroit today, he’d probably think Japan won the 2nd world war and did so by nuking Detroit. Hiroshima, on the contrary he adds, is a beautiful thriving city.

Watch the full interview below (2nd half after break is about Steyn’s Christmas CD):

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  • las1

    Steyn actually got a gig with Thorton Wilder and settled in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire.

    If you get a chance, Our Town by Wilder is a great movie starring a young William Holden and Thomas Mitchell (Uncle Billy Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life). The movie features the music of Aaron Copland and is set in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire… the amazing State that in 1900 that had only three percent Democrats. Ahhh…. to dream.

    I certainly hope they do a digital cleanup of this movie, because it features some great scenes including the Mitchell character eloquently scolding his son for making his mother chop the wood while he’s out playing baseball. The third act digresses from the play and becomes a cliched Hollywood ending, but it’s still a great film.

    • Rshill7

      What does Steyn do on his Christmas CD?

      • Orangeone

        I was thinking Bing Crosby’s White Christmas! Even demorats could tap dance that slowly

        • las1

          Not really… they would call it the Non-colour Season’s Greeting song, then try and dig up dirt on Bing Crosby to make sure he had no Republican leanings.

          • Orangeone


      • las1

        Yeah … it was kinda strange cause last X-mas Coren and Steyn were plugging the exact same CD on Coren’s show.

        Pfft! Doesn’t matter… I could listen to both of them again and again. And regarding Steyn, I don’t know where the heck he’s really from. I call him Grover’s Corners Boy from NH… but he’s lived in Quebec, Ontario, Great Britain and I think he was born in a cabbage patch… but that’s only rumour.

      • Biggbear52

        Tru asking him!

  • Griffin Clark

    For a real comparison, Detroit is looking more like Havana. Socialism destroys property.

    The Ruins of Havana

    • Sandra123456
      • colliemum

        You see these photos, and ask ‘why’?

        It’s not simply about money.
        I think it’s a pernicious mental attitude which says – these are beautiful thing,s people who have them or made them are rich, richer than us, so lets destroy them. Either fast and violently or slowly, letting them decay.

        It speaks of a moral deficiency which does not respect other humans, and does not respect the work of other humans.

        This is how socialism ends: nobody cares for anything, especially not beauty or the works of others.


    • las1

      This is a great video of Havana in the 1930’s. Compare that to today… ugh.

      • colliemum

        Nice video!

        Again, the comparison shows the total disregard by socialists for anything beautiful or aesthetically pleasing.
        Mind – they learned from the masters: just what Russia looked like before and after the 1917 revolution.
        They simply don’t care.

        • Orangeone

          People have no pride in what does not belong to them. You can always quickly identify public housing because it is trashed.

  • MiketheMarine

    Again, off point, but worth the read. A news clipping about a young Marine in Vietnam, written in 1968. Made me teary eyed. Taken from Sgt. Grit’s web page, don’t know the newspaper…………

    Most Assuredly
    Posted in home town newspaper in 1968

    IN VIETNAM: He’s 18 and a half years old, a pinked cheeked, tousie-haired fellow who under normal circumstances would be considered by society as half man, half boy, not yet dry behind the ears, and a pain in the employment chart. But right now he is the hope of the free man. He is, for the most part, unmarried and without material possessions – except for possibly an old car at home and a transistor radio here. He listens to “soul” and the howitzers.

    He has just gotten out of high school within the past year, received so-so grades, played a little football, and had a girl who broke up with him when he went overseas or who swears that she is still faithful, although he is half the world away.

    He has learned to like beer now because it is cold and because it is the thing to do. He smokes because he gets free cigarettes and because “it helps”. He never cared much for work, preferred waxing his own car to washing his father’s, but is now 10 or 20 pounds lighter than before because he is working or fighting from dawn to dark-often longer.

    He obeys now tamely without hesitation, but he’s not broken. He has seen more suffering than he should have in his short life. He has stood among hills of bodies, and he has helped to construct those hills. He has wept in public and in private and is not ashamed in either place, because his pals have fallen in battle and he has come close to joining them. He has become more self-sufficient. If he is fortunate enough to have two pairs of jungle fatigues to call his own, he wears one and washes the other.

    He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth but not his rifle. He keeps his canteen full but has almost given up trying to keep his socks dry. He can cook his own meals, fix his own hurts and mend his own rips – material and mental.

    He will share his water with you if you are thirsty, break his rations in half if you are hungry, split his ammunition with you if you are fighting for your life. He can do the work of two civilians, but draw half the pay of one, and find ironic humor in it all. He has learned to use his hands as a weapon, and his weapons as his hands. He can save a life or, most assuredly, take one.


    • Do you need an open thread?

      • MiketheMarine

        Nah, if you let that one live there for now. I’m done going off topic. Thanks. I’m actually rolling out to physical therapy in 15 minutes so up to you, Boss.


    • colliemum


      One wonders where that boy is now, what he did afterwards, how he coped.
      Did he get spit at when he came back? Was his family happy to see him, or were they ashamed? Did he get a job, did he find a wife, have children? Is he still alive?

      Did he make it home at all?

      It’s so easy to forget how young everybody was then.

  • That would have been a great Mitt Romney commercial. Just show what downtown Detroit looks like and have the announcer say, “Do you really want to vote for a political party that will give you more of this?” Hey, it’s worth a try. Appealing to a sense of fiscal responsibility didn’t help Romney all that much. Maybe if people actually SEE what the end result of years of liberalism is, then they will change their minds. Maybe.

    • Orangeone

      Romney the weenie boy would NEVER have used that! Now Rove’s PAC on the other hand…

  • He is right.

  • Linky1

    Glad to see you posting more clips from SUN News.

    Canada finally has a news station to be proud of – they have out FOX-ed FOX News for being a good, solid conservative news site.

    • las1

      If only SUN had the resources of FOX. They operate with only a 21Millon yearly budget. They do very well with that amount considering they have national reach. And their ad revenues are up and the caliber of adverts is quite good compare to the beginning. I am hoping they expand their supply of conservative heads as well. Their pool of people is very small. And it ticks me off that CRTC did not rule in their favour to be a “must carry” cable broadcaster. So now they are stuck at the top of the dial (in Ontario at least on Rogers at 142) and it costs extra to get them…

      • Linky1


        I’m glad the CRTC approved them, it was touch and go for a while and as for their budget-as far as I am concerned, FOX can go pound salt. Money only buys bright, shiny things and that’s all there is at FOX these days – pretty girls pretty boys with not much between the ears. I’ll pay the extra for SUN and judging by their FB page, they have many followers;judging by their critics, they have hit many sacred cows here in Canada without blindly supporting the Conservatives. I will take Brian Lilley, Charles Adler, Michael Coren and Ezra Levant any day of the week over the tired blowhards on FOX. SUN has a lot of American input from the Blaze, Daily Caller, Breitbart-just this week, Brian Lilley had a sit down with Glenn Beck.

        No amount of money can make up for the fact that FOX no longer the conservative news choice-they sold out when they fired Glenn Beck. I could go on and on and on with so many examples-suffice to say, I was so disgusted with them leading up to the election and on election night, I have not watched since. I won’t even watch the clips here, as I just cannot stand hypocrisy and that’s what O’Reilly, Hannity and Greta are-hypocrites to the conservative viewers who supported them.

        Sadly, I can’t drop them from Shaw Direct (my satellite service), as I do watch stations in the package that FOX is i but, if the opportunity comes, I will do that in a heartbeat.

  • Rshill7
  • GetWhatYouPayFor

    Drop that same 1940’s guy anywhere in California. Just be sure he has police protection and a translator.

  • What a wonderfully pleasant interview that was! Thanks for sharing!

  • Orangeone

    Detroit is an unshaved and unwashed arm-pit!

    • meyou

      If you’ve never been there, allow me to confirm. The city knows no razor, soap, nor deodorant. Used to be a great city.

      • Orangeone

        Was there 1 time and my impression was a nasty armpit…. Thanks for the confirmation!  BTW, I have the same opinion as Philadelphia.

  • Lime Lite

    Michael Coren says it’s not about race, but years of liberal Democratic rule. Sure, that has something to do with it, but race is exactly why Detroit is why it is today. Detroit is 92% black. Please don’t insult our intelligence and tell us it’s not about race.

  • I Like Shooting, Too

    If Detroit were a person, and Detroit’s name were Michael Mann, Detroit would have sued Mark Steyn for that statement.

    Honestly, I’ve never been to Detroit, so I can’t say if it’s true. I’m sure Detroit looks like a decaying inner-city with a bad economy, similar to many cities but somewhat worse.

    • cabensg

      I guess you haven’t heard the plans (now happening) to just plow under whole neighborhoods because the houses are decaying and deserted. They mayor said they were returning it to farm land. Geesh!!! If I find a link I’ll post it. It was last year when I saw the pictures and read the article. The exodus out of Detroit is ongoing.

    • Here’s how bad it is…

      You can buy a viable home for $5000. There are neighborhoods that were once bustling, clean and safe that are now dumping grounds for dead bodies because the cops don’t patrol there. The population has dropped by 50% in the last 30 years. There are what were once beautiful theaters with velvet curtains and beautiful woodwork and other artwork that are abandoned, falling down and condemned. Staples of America once made their home in Detroit, like Stroh’s Beer, are now an empty shell; broken windows, falling down. Its simply sad to see what has happened. I was born in Detroit at Mount Carmel Mercy in 1960. My grandpa worked for Detroit Edison and used to take me to one of the parks on the Detroit river and buy me ice cream from the Good Humor man.

      It’s simply a disaster zone now, in the wake of big unions who don’t care what they destroy. At the end of the day, the unions will destroy more jobs than they create or save; period. But, they don understand simple economics and math. You can’t pay somebody $30 including benefits for an unskilled, monkey job. That may piss some of them off but it is the brutal truth. Paying a bunch of toothless, uneducated rednecks ridiculous wages to do an entry-level job will sink any company.

  • Biggbear52

    My wife and children can and would be the first ones to say, That when Marks speaks of America is moving backwards, I have said for years that we are regressing, not moving forward. We have been in a State of MACHINE run people for better than 25 years no and it is wholly disgusting to say the lest. The people need to learn to be people again. My own flesh and blood thinks. at age 24, that he has the right to smoke dope, not work and have the tax dollar as his income! Makes me puke!

  • jrt1031

    I love listening to Steyn… the funny thing about Mark is that he look totally different than he sounds. So if you listen to him without seeing him you picture someone totally different that he looks. All and all good stuff though.