Ports of Call


Miami’s airport code is MIA — which is slightly jarring to me. I guess those initials will always mean “missing in action,” to me. But the airport is a much nicer connotation.

In that airport, I hear a young woman’s voice, over the PA. She is speaking in both English and Spanish. And her voice reminds me of something.

It is this video. I linked to it last summer, I think, after a visit to Miami. It was recommended to me by a friend — a Miami resident. The video spoofs a Miami way of speaking. It does so affectionately, and delightfully.

There is profanity in this video. But then, it reflects life. (There was no profanity in the airport, I should add — just delightfulness!)

Okay, this is politically incorrect: I was thinking about why I like Miami so much, and one of the reasons is this: I like Latin America, very much; and I like America America — the United States — very much.

In Latin America, there is often the sense that the rule of law is not quite in force. The law is arbitrary, unreliable. Miami gives you a Latin American ambience but under proper, “Anglo” rule of law.

Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? But I say it because I think it’s true.

You know Tony Daniels, Anthony Daniels, a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple — the British doctor-writer. He has said, for many years, that popular music is better all over the world than it is in our countries: in Britain and the U.S.

I have long seen the truth of this, wherever I’ve been — heard it, rather. And I think of this as I drive up to Palm Beach. I’m listening to a “Latin” radio station. And each song is, if not good, listenable. Recognizable as music.

Chris Ruddy hosts a few of us National Review types. He is the CEO of Newsmax, a growing colossus of a media company. Chris is an amazing thing: a journalist with major entrepreneurial talent. He is also exceptionally generous.

But back to entrepreneurship: Funny how some of us aren’t even able to open lemonade stands as kids . . .

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine, knowing I was going to see Rush Limbaugh, asked, “What’s it like to be with Rush?” “Great,” I said. “A shot in the arm. A rush — no pun intended.”

And so it proves again. We have a leisurely visit with Rush, during which we talk over some issues (not least the health of America). Rush is warm, exuberant, smart, humane, funny — himself. And then there is that mysterious ingredient of charisma.

You know, if he ever went into radio or television, he could probably do well . . .

What’s it like being with Rush Limbaugh? Well, like getting a blast of sunshine. You leave beaming, lighter, grinning, happier. At least I do.

Dinner is at Mar-A-Lago — the onetime home of Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post. Funny, I think I lived near her home in D.C., when I lived in our fair capital. Mar-A-Lago has for many years been owned by Donald Trump.

I meet a family that lives next-door — literally next-door. One of the daughters says, “We thought about just walking through the hedge, but Mom said, no, we had to come through the front door, like civilized people.”

I meet a man who tells me a bit of his story. “My dad died when I was eleven. I started working at 15. At 18, I bought my first house.” He also took care of his mother, of course. And he became one of the most successful businessmen in South Florida.

He says, “I could never have done this in any country but this. And I don’t want to lose that. I want other people to have the same opportunities I did.”

His favorite politician, I gather, is Paul Ryan.