Thursday, December 31, 2009
Also killed was a Canadian journalist, a young woman who worked for the Calgary Herald. She was engaged to be married in July. There will be no wedding for her, no new year at all.
Canadians were not the only ones to have "a bad day" in Afghanistan yesterday. The Americans lost eight "civilians" (CIA operatives, actually), killed in a fortified base in the north-east of that miserable country, near the border with almost-as-miserable Pakistan.
Will there be any questions asked in the Canadian parliament? Will there be a debate on why we are in Afghanistan and how much longer we're going to stay there? Noooooo, because Smarmy Steve Harper, who has offered his "sincere condolences" to the families of those killed, has quietly asked [you mean "told", ed.] the Governor-General to progrogue (suspend) Parliament until March so he won't have to answer any questions about anything.
His regime has shown tremendous fear of criticism and has done everything it can to avoid having its policies and actions examined by representatives of the people. Perhaps Mr. Harpoon is taking lessons from the "government" of Afghanistan.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So many letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people why today's Canadian is not willing to accept the new kind of immigrant any longer.
Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Canada. People had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Halifax and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground.
They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.
They made learning English a primary rule in their new Canadian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good bye to their birthplace to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.
Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. Canadians fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Sweden, Poland and so many other places. None of these first-generation Canadians ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Canadians fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.
They were defending Freedom as one people. When we liberated France, no-one in those villages was looking for the Ukrainian-Canadian or the German-Canadian or the Irish-Canadian. The people of France saw only Canadians. And we carried one flag that represented our country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here.
These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be a Canadian. They stirred the melting pot into one red and white bowl.
Now here we are in 2009 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes a Canadian passport and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being a Canadian is all about.
Canadians have been very open-hearted and open-minded regarding immigrants, whether they were fleeing poverty, dictatorship, persecution, or whatever else makes us think of those aforementioned immigrants who truly did ADOPT our country, and our flag and our morals and our customs. And left their wars, hatred, and divisions behind.
I believe that the immigrants who landed in Canada in the early 1900s deserve better than that for the toil, hard work and sacrifice of those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags, fighting foreign battles on our soil, making Canadians change to suit their religions and cultures, and wanting to change our country's fabric by claiming discrimination when we do not give in to their demands.
It's about time we get real and stand up for our forefathers' rights! We are CANADIAN, lest we forget it! I am a Native of this Country & proud of it!
I think this letter...not the editorials in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star or other politically correct media...represents the views of the ordinary Canadian. And Americans and Britons too!
Speak up, people! Keep the letters flowing to editors, columnists, bloggers, MPs, senators, congressmen, pundits, and all and sundry. Maybe those in power will finally learn the lesson that politically correct is not politically smart!
Many religious leaders are lobbying for increases in immigration numbers. But a new Zogby poll of U.S. voters who belong to religious communities finds strong support for reducing overall immigration.
Here's another shocker. Joe Sixpack strongly disagrees with opinion-makers' arguments that we need more immigrants. And they believe that the illegals who are already here in their 1000s should be sent back where they came from, pronto!
Among lay Catholics, 78% said that inadequate enforcement, rather than strict quotas, was the main cause of illegal immigration. According to 69% of the Catholics surveyed, immigration is now too high; only 4% thought it was too low, while 14% were happy with the current level.
The survey of mainline Catholics and Protestants, evangelical Protestants and Jewish voters was one of the largest polls on immigration ever published. Our governments are, of course, doing their own polling, but draw the veil of secrecy over the findings lest people find out their immigration "policies" are a big black crock.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Be that as it may, his dismal view of a dismal decade is still worth reading. He inveighs against the dismal campaign against global warming [also so-called, ed.], the dismal Copenhagen conference, the utterly dismal Al Gore and the dismal and "untrammeled vulgarity of public taste". I agree entirely and recommend the article for the cold nights when a little attack of biliousness will help to warm you.
On the subject of global warming [yes, yes...get on with it, ed.] I pass on a comment from Rex Murphy, whose book Canada and Other Matters of Opinion I reviewed this morning.
"Of all the causes that are out there, none is so sentimental, so saturated with vague, emotive attitudinizing, fed on soft science and ripe with moral grandstanding, as global warming.
"Global warming, precisely because it is so grand and nebulous, precisely because it is that perfect storm of scientism and moralism, because it is so susceptible to demagoguery (however fashionably packaged and presented), is an almost unstoppable cause.
"Hands up, those of you who are against 'saving the world'."
Mr. Murphy hails from Newfoundland and has that peculiar love of and feel for the English language that seems to come naturally to educated Newfoundlanders, even though some of them (hello, John Crosbie) try to disguise it when they cast a few pearls before us ordinary people. It must be the Irish ancestry, I think.
Only a Rex Murphy could use the word "objurgation" in a sentence and make it seem entirely appropriate. His Fog Index* must be atmospheric, if you'll parden the pun, but his commentaries on Canadian mores, politics and personalities are eminently readable all the same.
Mr. Murphy commentates [is dis a word? ed.] a lot. He appears Thursday nights on CBC-TV's The National, hosts CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup on Sunday afternoons, and writes a Saturday column at the Globe and Mail. Rarely do I miss any of them.
Let me give you just one short sample from an essay called "Real Rights and Rights Commissions".
"Human rights are as profound and central a concept to the democracties of the world as we have. They constitutute the core of human freedom. They are the antidote to tyranny. They are fundamental.
"Of late, however, in Canada, this most painfully acquired understanding has been utterly unmoored. The various provincial human rights commissions and their federal godfather have been cuttings away at the core of, and extending into utter fatuity, the term 'human rights'. They are capricious, agenda-driven, a great mishmash of political correctness and 'right t hinking' bulldozing away at the basic freedoms of thought, speech and expression while they, under some osmotic impulse, investiage, prescribe and torment with zealous and self-righteous abandon."
Amen! How I wish I'd said that. How I wish I could write like that.
I borrowed Canada and Other Matters of Opinion (Doubleday Canada, 2009) from the library. I'm going to buy it.
*I refer to the Gunning-Mueller Fog Index, a test used by editors for decades to find out whether a text can be read and understood with more or less ease.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
What's up with the Geico lizard? How does a lizard...a lizard!...have anything to say about insurance? The latest commercial airing in this region suggests that the lizard is the boss of the insurance company, approving ad campaigns! Is this incredible or what?
To top it off, the lizard speaks with an estuary (lower-class English) accent! Talk about grating on these North American ears. Image? "Slimy limey".
Speaking of insurance, there was the Grey Power (is it Gray Power in the USA?) road rage lady. "You don't drive like this..." Of course I don't drive like that. The lady was barking mad. What a relief when they finally dropped the net on her!
Now we come to three commercials which many of you won't have seen (lucky you) since they we aired, as far as I know, only in the lower Great Lakes markets. Again as far as I know, they were all created by BBD&O. If BBD&O is reading and would like to disclaim responsibility, please e-mail me.
I haven't been able to upload the first two, so please click on the YouTube links to see them.
First have a look at the one I like. You've heard the expression about having horseshoes up one's ass? Get the message? Well, maybe you have to be a hockey fan.
IMHO the second one is just plain stupid. Even if you accept the premise that the guy is dumb enough to tattoo himself backwards, why would he be putting the casino's tattoo on his chest in the first place? Stupid, stupid, stupid!
And if that's stupid, this last one is worse than inane. It has been withdrawn now, doubtless following adverse comments and complaints. So powerful was its emetic effect on me that I dare not describe the results here. Suffice it to say that if I were a gambling man, I would never...never...darken the doors of Fallsview Casino, just for fear of meeting this ditzy blonde!
Doesn't she make you just wanna throw something at her? Actually she could be the mayor of a small mid-western town. I couldn't be in the same town, let alone the same building, with this woman. I hope she throws boxcars all day long and has to file for bankruptcy.
Worst commercial of the year...maybe the decade...maybe EVER!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I was hoping we could get through the Christmas season and into next year without having to post another picture of yet another Canadian killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Sadly...tragically...Lieutenant Andrew Nuttall was killed by a roadside bomb today, Christmas Eve. Please pray that the Lord Jesus whose birth we celebrate will comfort his family and comrades-in-arms.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Rather, let me point out that the reason for the firing of Olive Jones (no relation to Andrew, I presume) had nothing to do with religion being taught or observed in the British state-run school.
Miss Jones was dismissed or suspended or whatever for merely offering to do a very Christian thing, i.e. pray for the sick. And it's not as if this was going to be done in the school or during classes. It was to have been a Christian prayer said to God by a Christian teacher in her own way and on her own time.
Following the council's logic (?) to its ultimate conclusion, no-one who gave any visible sign of being a follower of Christ would be allowed to teach in its schools. That can't be right!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The online edition of BBC News reports that an English schoolteacher who has the special assignment of tutoring children too sick to attend classes has been dismissed from her job. The reason? She was so bold as to offer to pray for one of her pupils!
Olive Jones, a teacher with 20 years of experience, found one girl too sick to study, and tried to comfort her by offering to pray for her health. When she learned that the family was not religious, she dropped the subject—but not in time to avoid a formal complaint that prompted her dismissal.
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said Miss Jones hadn't been dismissed, merely suspended. Said Miss Jones, "I am amazed that a country with such a strong Christian tradition has become a country where it is hard to speak about your faith."
Monday, December 21, 2009
Nixon: I'm getting tired of this business of letting these Africans eat a hundred thousand people and do[ing] nothing about it.
Kissinger: And...all these bleeding hearts in this country who say we like to kill yellow people.
N: That's right.... Isn't it awful what these--that t his goddamn guy at the head of Uganda, Henry, is an ape. [Nixon refers to Idi Amin.]
K: He's an ape without an education.
N: That's probably no disadvantage. I mean, you figure that asshole that was the head of Ghana [Kwame Nkrumah] had a brilliant education in the United States.
K: That's right.
N: I mean, so, let's face it.... He's a prehistoric monster.
N: Let the British know we're going to help. The idea that we're going to stand still on the ground that any African government that...overthrew a colonial power thereby becomes lily white by our...standards and thereby beyond criticism is ridiciulous. The damn double standard is just unbelievable."
But the USA didn't help. It didn't send troops. It didn't do anything! Three months after this conversation, Kissinger presented President Nixon with a policy memorandum recommending that, with no vital American interests at stake, "no decisions need to be taken concerning Uganda, particularly aid levels." [My emphasis. Walt.]
According to Rice, Nixon scrawled his initials next to the word "approve".
There was no American action in Uganda. The Americans did send an expeditionary force into Somalia but withdrew PDQ. Click on the "Somalia" tab for references. There has been no meaningful American action against Comrade Bob Mugabe, the despot ruining Zimbabwe, in spite of the heartfelt pleas of the Zimbabwean diaspora.
What do the three countries -- Uganda, Somalia and Zimbabwe -- have in common? Why is the USA not much interested in doing anything to relieve them of rule by warlords, dictators and despots? Answer: they have no oil. And anyway, they're African. Let them go on eating each other.
She makes the point that Canada has just announced that it is going to step up the deportation of refugees -- notably gypsies and Mexicans -- to the place from which they came. I've written about this recently too. So what's the difference, she asks?
In the first place, those Canada is deporting are not true refugees, according to the Geneva convention, at all. They are not seeking political asylum, for politics has nothing to do with the reasons why they left Mexico or the Czech republic or wherever. 99% of them are economic migrants, seeking to get their noses in the huge trough that is the Canadian welfare system. That's all.
Secondly, the refugees being deported from Canada are not Canadians. They are being sent back to their countries of origin. As my earlier post today explains, the Uighurs are being returned to the country (China) in which they were born. They are Chinese citizens, even though they may not like being so. China has already executed dozens of what it says are its own citizens, and will likely deal with these returnees in the same way.
Which brings us to the final point. The few "refugees" who Canada succeeds in deporting to Mexico or Jamaica or Nigeria or wherever do not face being deprived of not only their liberty but their lives. So far as we know, not one deportee from Canada has been executed by their country of origin.
Please dear readers keep these things in mind as you ready about the US and Canadian governments cozying up to China...in the interests of better relations and improving the balance-of-trade figures of course. I'd ask you to boycott Chinese-made goods but you'd die, starving and naked. Beats dying at the wrong end of a rifle though.
That's how China will likely deal with 20 ethnic Uighurs who were returned from Cambodia over the weekend. In a terse statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said "Cambodia deported 20 Chinese citizens in accordance with immigration laws for illegal entry into Cambodia. China received these people in accordance with usual practices."
Chinese "usual practices" for "criminals" (including people who might have wanted to separate their region from greater China) included execution by firing squad. And it was the practice to make the victim's families pay for the bullet. (Scots, you could learn something from the Chinese!) Agent 78 told me this practice had stopped but I wasn't clear on whether she mean the shooting or making the victims pay.
The Chinese comments came, by the merest coincidence, as a top Chinese official began a visit to Phnom Penh to boost commercial ties. China is Cambodia's biggest investor, having put more than $14 billion into that country in foreign direct investment, including buying up huge tracts of farmland the produce of which will be shipped to China...or possibly to the west.
And where do the Uighurs fit in? They are an ethnically Turkic Muslim people who used to be the majority population in large parts of northwestern China. Lately they have become a minority as the majority Han Chinese have colonized ["developed"? ed.] Xinjiang and neighbouring provinces.
The Uighurs don't much like being colonized and reduced to second-class status in their own land, so have been agitating for the Chinese to go away and leave them alone. In July, ethnic rioting (Uighurs vs Chinese) claimed the lives of nearly 200 people. The Uighurs lost.
Some of them fled into neighbouring Cambodia (the land of Pol Pot and the Killing Fields) and applied for asylum at the United Nations refugee agency office there. The UNHCR has condemned the deportations, but has failed to stop them. Another triumph for international law, human rights and the United Nations.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The most beautiful gift of all was the second goal, a soft bouncer from somewhere beyond Toskala's range of vision. Your grandmother could have stopped it. But not the Flukey Finn. Even though there was no-one within 50 feet of him, he somehow misplayed the puck, which found its way into the net. So strange was it that the referees were unable to say who fired the "shot", so until later on the goal was credited to "unknown".
Walt regrets not having a video clip to add to this post. Doubtless one will turn up pretty soon. But for your yuletide entertainment here's a link to a clip of a similar [even worse, ed.] Toskala miscue against the NY Islanders, from March of 2008. To the Leaf Nation...nya nya na nya na! And my condolences for the rest of the season.
Friday, December 18, 2009
A federal court judge hearing the case seemed unclear on exactly how the boy got into Canada, but it seems safe to assume he didn't swim. In fact he flew with WestJet...on a one-way ticket! Apparently no-one asked to see a visa when he got on the plane or when he landed at Toronto's Pearson airport. He just calmly walked into our country where he has survived on the largesse of the Canadian taxpayer ever since.
Judge Robert Mainville said "Clearly measures need to be taken to avoid similar situations in the future. There is [there should be! ed.] no question of encouraging in any fashion or manner whatsoever the act of sending and abandoning foreign children in Canada."
The Ministry of Public Safety wants the boy deported so he can be reunited with his family. Judge Mainville got involved when the Toronto Children's Aid Society stepped in, saying the boy's safety would be at risk if he were sent back to St. Lucia. [Sic. The Star first says the boy is Jamaican, but later says "sent back to St. Lucia".]
I would have thought that Citizenship and Immigration Canada would be handling the case, rather than the Ministry of Public Safety, but perhaps there is concern that the unfortunate lad might get involved with gangs and drugs if he stays here. Or maybe he is already.
Walt thinks it would be great if the kid could be sent to Jamaica, to join his older brother, who was deported not long ago after living illegally in Toronto for some time. Of course they have gangs and drug problems in Jamaica too [There's a news flash for you! ed.] but Walt thinks it best that the Jamaicans kill each other on the streets of Kingston rather than the streets of Toronto.
And Walt joins Judge Mainville in recommending that CIC and the Canada Border Services Agency sharpen up. Close the bloody door!
[Please complete rhyming couplet. ed.]
That's the way it's been this week, and it just gets worse from here. It's not that I didn't start early enough. Got the Christmas tree up and the cards out in the first week of December.
Then calendar just filled up, kind of like a Christmas stocking. Santa Claus parades, Christmas and New Year's levees, office parties, get-togethers with family and friends. There's not much time left over to sit at the keyboard, so please don't expect too much of substance between here and the Epiphany.
But, since I don't want you to be Walt-less over the holiday, I'll try to put up the odd item to bring you some Christmas cheer and convey my good wishes. Here's one.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
According to a report in the Boston Herald, an 8-year-old special needs student was sent home from a Boston-area elementary school after drawing a typical child's interpretation of Jesus nailed to the cross. And...get this...the child was ordered to undergo psychological testing!
School officials said they feared the boy's artwork - drawn to depict his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Salette on his Thanksgiving break - might be exposing violent tendencies. Fortunately the school-appointed psychiatrist, Helene Titelbaum, determined (after a two-day assessment) there was nothing wrong with him.
Said the good Jewish doctor, “(The boy) does not appear to be a threat to himself or others at this time. I recommend that he return to school as soon as possible.”
The mayor called the school superintendent and asked her to apologize both privately and publicly to the boy's family...and pay the psychiatrist's bill too. Answer came there none.
Afterthought: Why are so many psychiatrists Jewish? Could it be because Catholics go to confession to get what's bothering them off their chests, but, not having that sacrament, Jews go to a shrink?!
If you didn't read yesterday's post, please do so now. Then click on the link above to go to the Globe story. It presents the highlights of a report, by the Canada Border Services Agency no less, which predicts that as other developed countries shut out refugees and asylum-seekers, Canada will become the safe haven to which they flee.
In other words, because of Canada's reputation as being a "soft touch", we can expect a tidal wave of the world's flotsam and jetsam to wash up on our shores. This is contrary to what CIC is saying in its annual report, which was the subject of yesterday's post.
Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) says it's battening down the hatches, so to speak. Closing the loopholes and tightening up our porous borders. What they don't say is that when someone's refugee claim is accepted, they get social benefits -- housing, welfare and health care -- at levels unmatched anywhere in the world.
Canadians living in poverty suffer, but refugees have to buy big bushel baskets to carry off the swag we lavish on them. No wonder the scum of the earth head for Canada..."very good place to be, very good indeed".
Footnote: The Border Services Agency report had to be obtained by a lawyer under freedom of information legislation. Why is it that Canadians have to fight so hard to get access to reports and other documents prepared at our expense? Don't we have the right to know what our government is doing? What do our governments fear? Voter backlash? Could be!
Postscript: This is Walt's 200th post, another milestone reached!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Successful claims by refugees already in Canada fell to less than half of what it was under the Gliberals. Give Mr. Harpoon full marks on this one. The new stats show the impact of his government's efforts to overhaul Canada's immigration system [is dis a system? ed.] at long last.
This past summer the government imposed visa restrictions on Czechs and Mexicans as part of a broader attempt to block bogus refugee claims filed from within Canada. A spokesman, Alykhan Velshi [what part of Ireland is he from? ed.] noted that Mexico was the top source of asylum claims in 2008, yet the Immigration and Refugee Board rejected 90% of those claims.
As for the Czechs, the real target there is gypsies, or "Roma" as they prefer to be called now. Problems with these people, whose nomadic "culture" rejects honesty, education and even cleanliness, have already been noted in Toronto schools and social housing.
Predictably, the bleeding-heart liberals have already complained that Canada is shirking her responsibility to take in everyone and everything in the world. (Back in the dark ages before WWII expressions like "the scum of the earth" were used, but of course no-one would dare use such a phrase now.)
The likes of NDP MP Olivia Chow and "Dame" Janet Dench, head of a self-appointed watchdog group known as the Canadian Council for Refugees, say the numbers show a lack of compassion and a potential disregard of the government's obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Says Dame Dench, "It's a very bleak, bleak picture for refugees and Canadians that [sic] care about refugees." All two dozen of them.
CIC's report shows the projected number of refugees who will be accepted from within Canada will remain near the lower 2008 levels both this year and next. Mr. Velshi said the report's projections do not take into account the immigration minister's plans for a new system that will weed out “bogus” claims made in Canada more quickly while still respecting the Charter.
“Clearly our system is being abused,” Mr. Velshi said. “[The minister] plans to reform our asylum system.” Not before time!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Unfortunately, being poor, the party found themselves way up in the nosebleed section, and the little boy was sitting behind a big steel pillar, to boot. The view wasn't very good, but still he was thrilled to be there.
"And," he told his friends when he got home, "the people were so nice. Even before the game started they all stood up and they sang a song to me...Jose, can you see?"
I was reminded of this when I endured a terrible rendering (yes, I mean "rendering", not "rendition" -- look it up!) of the national anthem before a football game the other day. Can we not find even one singer who has the voice and the musical ability to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" the way it was written? Not one?
Now I grant you, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is a hard song to sing compared with, say, "O Canada" or "La Marseillaise". It's not a particularly good piece of music.
No matter what key you choose, you have to have an above-average range to hit the highest notes at all, let alone hold the worst one, "the ho-ome of the freeeeeeee". A good baritone or tenor might pull it off, but it's been years and years since I heard any woman hit that note without sounding as if she just saw a large mouse!
While I'm ranting, could I also make a plea for singers to give up on "modernizing" the tune by warbling each note so that it rises and falls a tone or more before going on to the next note? I can't remember where or when this fad started, but I believe it's a refuge for those who simply can't read music. There's only one note there! Sing it! Sing ONLY that one note! Thank you.
Now let me offer an alternative. If a patriotic air must be sung before a game, how about choosing something that's easy to sing, so the soloist can handle it and everyone can join in.
That would be "God bless America"! It's a nice simple tune, easy to sing, and quite stirring. The Philadelphia Flyers use it occasionally when starting a crucial game. They used to wheel out Kate Smith to do the honours. Now they have to show her on film, but the crowd still loves it.
Yes...God bless America. But I suppose it wouldn't be politically correct to invoke the deity. Pity about spineless America, letting minorities dictate what the majority can or can't do in their own country.
Friday, December 11, 2009
If you haven't already done so, check out Walt's post "I love a holiday parade".
And please, join the movement! If someone wishes you "Happy holidays" today, give them a big smile and wish them a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Armed with 70 sworn affidavits from rape victims, An advocacy group, armed with 70 sworn affidavits, is calling for the prosecution of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party for crimes against humanity.
The group is headed by Great Canadian and all-round do-gooder Stephen Lewis, who has a long record of being more interested in poverty and social problems overseas than similar concerns here at home.
The group says "Comrade Bob" Mugabe and his party were responsible for a systematic campaign of rape against opposition supporters in last year's election. They point to the cases of 70 Zimbabwean women, all opposition supporters, who were collectively raped at least 380 times by 241 different members of the ruling party and its affiliated organizations.
The black thugs who masquerade as leaders of Mr. Mugabe's party are reportedly preparing their militias for another campaign of systematic rape in the next presidential election, the report says. To stop them from doing it again, it says, they must be prosecuted under international laws on crimes against humanity.
All this is told to us as if it was something new, discovered only by dint of the hard work of this group over the last few months. In fact the campaign against those whose race, tribe or politics differ from those of one of the worst-ever African dictators has gone on since even before the ill-considered handover of power by the lily-white and lily-livered British government in 1980.
Who was one of the loudest voices calling for the government of Ian Smith to hand Rhodesia over to the Mugabe and his brother black racists? Step forward Stephen Lewis, former leader of the NDP in Ontario and Voice of Virtue in the "great civil rights movement" of the 60s.
It's not that they weren't warned. Mugabe and his comrades were self-styled Marxists, intent on seizing for themselves, their cronies and their tribesmen "white cars, white farms and white women".
Of course those who said as much were vilified as incorrigible racists. But see what has happened since the British forced Smith to cede power in 1980. Zimbabwe, at that time the second-most advanced country in sub-Saharan Africa (second only to the terrible apartheid state of South Africa) has descended into abject poverty.
Zimbabwe is literally going back to bush. And who is responsponsible? Who has been in power all that time? Who was just, at the age of 85, selected by his party to lead the party and the country for another five years? "Bob's your uncle."
Stephen Lewis and all the other western liberal do-gooders created Mugabe the Monster. Now, suddenly, they see that maybe they made a mistake. (Apparently they haven't yet found a way to blame the white settlers -- the few hundred that are left -- for the rapes and violence.) But it's too late.
The monster is loose and rampages through the land. No international court of justice will stop him, and there is no reliable justice system in his own country. Only a sudden case of lead poisoning will save Zimbabwe from his further depradations.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Today the chocolate bar company has disappeared. So has the British Empire, save for a few rocky specks all but lost in huge seas of blue. But the British are still suffering from the impact of having once had a mighty empire, but being the most powerful nation on earth no more.
So says The Economist in an excellent column in this week's print edition.* The legacy of empire is, according to "Bagehot" the tiger under the dining room table, or the Indian elephant in the living room, which informs British attitudes and thinking even today. Bagehot gives three examples.
Why did Tony Blair overcommit his country to the American war in Iraq? "One theory...is that his militarism and messianism, the mix of responsibility and entitlement that he evinced, are part of the inheritance of all post-imperial British leaders."
"Playing Boy Wonder to America's Batman", as historian Linda Colley puts it, is British politicians' only chance of maintaining a global role. Or it could be that they yearn for long-past greatness because of a fear of being emasculated by America.
According to Bagehot, empire is also implicated in Britain's exposure to the great financial debacle of the last 18 months. It is from the days of empire, he argues, that Britons get their commerical habits -- not the most aggressive or businesslike of nations -- and an "overmighty financial sector", preoccupied with foreign deals and insulated to its detriment from the domestic economy.
And of course there is immigration, "the most obvious domestic legacy" of empire. Coincidentally, the Economist prints on the facing page an article headed "This sceptical isle". It points out that according to a recent survey, Britons are less keen on immigration than most people in Europe and North America.
(It may come as a shock to Walt's readers that Americans and Canadians are generally more tolerant than not. Only a third of Canadians, [only?! ed.] have negative attitudes to immigrants and immigration. Americans are apparently not so tolerant, but still less embittered than Brits.)
"Though notionally welcomed by a 1948 act," Bagehot writes, "colonial immigrants caused alarm when they actually turned up." [Stop the presses! ed.] British attitudes have become progressively blacker ever since, in spite of a 1962 curtailment of entry rights and subsequent tightening of various loopholes.
Now Britons worry, rightly, about the beliefs and actions of the children of immigrants venting perceived "grievances [that] have reverberated through the generations". In other words, Enoch Powell was right in everything about the magnitude of the racial disharmony which he foresaw. (Bagehot didn't say that. I did!)
So what is the upshot of all this? Bagehot opines that the British are still in denial. They have yet to deal with the emotional and intellectual fallout of empire. He calls the British -- and he is one of them -- "deluded and yet morbidly disappointed".
What they must do but have not, he argues, is to somehow "overcome this sense of thwartedness and decline, and come up with a notion of Britishness to replace the defunct imperial version."
* This article is available online only to subscribers to the print edition, thus I can't give you a link. Sorry.
We seem to be in danger of forgetting that the parades are related to Christian celebrations. Thanksgiving was instituted by Protestant Christians to thank God for His bounty. And of course Christmas is -- or should be -- a joyous celebration of the coming of the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind.
Sadly, in today's post-secular age, the religious connotations of the events are all but forgotten. Except by the non-Christians. The minorities seem to resent the majority celebrating special events in the Christian calendar. So we have the campaign -- and it is a campaign, not just a spontaneous movement -- to take God out of Thanksgiving and Christ out of Christmas. Hey, why not abolish the words "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" altogether? The politically correct thing, now, is to have a "Winter Holiday Parade"!
I was reminded of this while watching the TV coverage of a Santa Claus parade the other day. The commentators, ever so politically correct, kept using the phrase "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas". As in, "And here's Santa, waving at the crowd, wishing everyone a happy holiday."
It's enough to make you puke. God forbid that we should be anything less than inclusive. Sorry, but Santa says, "Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!"
If African-Americans want to celebrate Kwanzaa (which real Africans have never heard of) or Muslims want to celebrate Eid, or Hindus want to celebrate Diwali, let them organize their own damn parades! Instead of Santa Claus they could have actors portraying Idi Amin (he was a Muslim, supposedly) or Yassir Arafat or Mahatma Gandhi...nice jolly characters that epitomize their cultures.
Parades for every culture and every religion. Another great idea from Walt!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Traffic was deadlocked, so the waterlogged man climbed out, put his hand on the divider, and jumped over the low concrete wall... only to fall 65 feet to his death.
"He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn't," said a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman.
His mother shared her thoughts. "Shawn didn't do a whole lot for a living. He got along on his charm, just like his father."
Though his death was tragic, it proves the old adage. "Look before you leak!"
Seen on the Darwin Awards website. Check it out for more examples of egregious and usually fatal stupidity.
Which brings us to Darlie toothpaste, which I hadn't seen since my daze in China, but noticed in an Asian convenience store yesterday. As you can see, "Darlie" used to be called "Darkie". In Chinese it's still 黑人 hēi rén, or "black person". In fact they have an advertising slogan in Chinese: "Black Man Toothpaste is still Black Man Toothpaste".
Political correctness dictated the name change when Colgate-Palmolive bought Hawley & Hazel, the Taiwanese manufacturers, in 1985. At that time the original name was "Darkie", which, Wikipedia tells us "is a term used primarily to refer to black people". Ah. I see.
Anyway, rest assured. You can use Darlie with full confidence that your teeth can look just like Al Jolson's. Al Jolson, by the way, was white.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sally, competing on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?', had reached the final plateau. If she answered the next question correctly, she would win $1,000,000! If she answered incorrectly, she would pocket only the $25,000 milestone money.
As she suspected the Million Dollar Question was no pushover. It was:
Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? Is it:
A) the condor
B) the buzzard
C) the cuckoo
D) the vulture
Sally was on the spot! She did not know the answer. She had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Ask the Audience Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline. She hoped she would not have to use it because her friend was...well...a blonde.
But she had no alternative. She called her friend and gave her the question and the four choices. The blonde responded unhesitatingly, 'That's easy. The answer is C: the cuckoo.'
Sally had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered employing a reverse strategy and giving any answer except the one that her friend had given her. And considering her friend was a blonde that would seem to be the logical thing to do. But her friend had responded with such confidence, such certitude, that the contestant could not help but be convinced.
Crossing her fingers, Sally said, 'C: The cuckoo.'
'Is that your final answer?'
'Yes, that is my final answer.'
'That answer is absolutely correct! You are now a millionaire!'
Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and friends, including the blonde who had helped her win the million dollars. 'I just don't know how to thank you, ' said Sally. 'But how did you happen to know the right answer?'
'Oh, come on,' said the blonde. 'Everybody knows that cuckoos don't build nests. They live in clocks!'
The story goes back to 1948, when Pope Pius XII, who was opposed to any modernization of the traditional Latin Mass, in use for over four centuries, nevertheless appointed Bugnini to the Vatican's liturgical commission. One wonders if Pius knew that Bugnini “aimed at appeasing non-Catholics, and…emulating Protestant services…including placing altars to face the people instead of a sacrifice toward the liturgical east.”
Wolfe’s piece quotes Bugnini’s infamous declaration: “We must strip from our...Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.”
And he succeeded, at least partly because none of Pius's successors knew or cared much about the liturgy. The next pope, John XXIII, named Bugnini secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy of Vatican II, in which position he worked with Catholic clergymen and, surprisingly, some Protestant ministers on liturgical reforms. In 1962 he wrote what would eventually become the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the document that gave the form of the new Mass.
Wolfe recounts how Bugnini changed so many things so quickly and so completely that the popes themselves sometimes did not know the latest directives. He tells how Pope Paul VI once questioned the vestments set out for him by his staff, saying they were the wrong color, only to be told "he" had eliminated the week-long celebration of Pentecost and could not wear the corresponding red garments for Mass. The pope’s master of ceremonies then saw Paul break down in tears.
"What a telling bit of history this is," says Catholic commentator Christopher Ferrara. Since Vatican II, he says, "the Pope has too often become a rubber stamp for the whims of the Vatican bureaucracy, whose functionaries all purport to act in his name and with his 'full authority'. The result of this factory-like process is that a Pope confronted with a fait accompli enacted in his name may lack the hardihood to overturn it."
Thanks be to God, we at last have a Pope, Benedict XVI, who seems to want to undo the incalculable damage of Vatican II. In particular, Benedict seems bent on "reforming the reform", to restore to the faithful the true Mass, the traditional Mass which served us so well for so long.
Wolfe concludes with praise for Pope Benedict XVI’s "counterrevolution". He ends with this indictment of the past forty years of "liturgical reform":
"Bugnini may have finally met his match in Benedict XVI… 40 years of the new Mass have brought chaos and banality into the most visible and outward sign of the Church. Benedict XVI wants a return to order and meaning. So, it seems, does the next generation of Catholics."
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Mrs. Walt bought a couple of packages. Now we have brightly coloured rags hanging from hooks and rods in the kitchen, the bathrooms, the garage, the laundry room...everywhere. They are constant reminders of the power of well-executed schlock marketing and the dumbitude of North American consumers.
And here's the thing... Even though we know we've been had, we still watch the ShamWow guy -- Vince Shlomi, a.k.a. Vince Offer -- flogging the SlapChop and similar garbage. And I admit to stopping to catch the act of Vince imitators and wannabes at flea markets and county fairs.
Vince may be the best TV pitchman since Ron "Ronco" Popeil, the inventor of spray-on hair and other must-have products. How else could it be that people would part with $20 for a bunch of rags?
Well, they're from Germany, Vince says, and "you know the Germans make good stuff". Really? Germans are famous for making good cars, beer and ovens, but who ever heard of German excellence in textiles? [Military uniforms, maybe? ed.]
But you get a second bunch of rags -- or lately a rag mop -- FREE! All you pay is the shipping and handling on the second package. You know what that means? The product is so cheap to produce and ship that they can ask you to pay 7 or 10 bucks for "shipping and handling" and still make money.
It's really quite amazing. I wish I'd thought of it.
Footnote: You can read Ron Popeil's "How I did it" from Inc. magazine here.
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Historica-Dominion Institute (where one of Walt's agents lurks) just released a poll in which 47% of respondents called les Glorieux the "greatest hockey team in history". 33% consider Montréal the country's national hockey team, with the Toronto Maple Leafs placing second.
Ice hockey [is there another kind? ed.] is not as well-known or well-regarded as some other sports, such as soccer, in countries like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Walt was saddened to learn that most people in such places have never heard of the greatest sport of all.
Nevertheless, Canadians believe that the Canadiens are not just the greatest hockey team ever, but one of the greatest teams in any organized sport. 65% of us believe the Habs rank right up there with the New York Yankees and Manchester United, who engage in other so-called sports.
"To a large number of Canadians, hockey is Canada and the Montreal Canadiens are hockey's greatest success story," said the Historica-Dominion Institute's Andrew Cohen. "Our love of the Habs is strong even 100 years after their creation, 17 seasons after their last Stanley Cup and in a league with 30 franchises including six in Canada."
You can catch the 100th anniversary game, between today's not-so-hot Habs and arch-rivals Boston, this evening on CBC-TV. Will Don Cherry just for once admit the historic greatness of Montréal? Will the players still be awake after two hours of pre-game videos and ceremonies? Tune in and find out!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Those are the words of a mother whose boy was killed by a cop...a Mountie no less. In British Columbia.
No, we're not talking about the Mounties' takedown of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in October, 2007 -- the infamous death by taser case. But we are talking about one of the "four horsemen of the stungun" who was involved.
Step forward RCMP Corporal Benjamin Robinson, the officer who was in charge of "serving and protecting" the public...except of course for the unfortunate Dziekanski.
Cpl. Robinson found himself on the wrong side of the law about a year later, on October 25th, 2008, when the vehicle he was driving hit a young man by the name of Orion Hutchinson, who was riding a motorcycle. Less than 2 hours after the lethal impact, local cops gave Robinson the usual breath test. Robinson blew over 80.
An open-and-shut case of impaired driving, or at least driving with blood alcohol content higher than permissible, you might say. But not if you're part of the BC Ministry of the Attorney-General. (In some places they call it the Ministry of Justice, but that's an obvious misnomer.)
After an investigation which dragged on for months -- who knows why? -- the city police report on the death of Orion Hutchison was turned over to the A-G's criminal justice branch. And it would be months again before a decision on whether to go ahead with charges was reached.
On Tuesday, the Crown decided against charging Cpl. Robinson with impaired driving, but recommended pressing forward with a charge of attempting to obstruct justice. A conviction on the lesser charge -- much lesser -- would probably result in nothing more than probation and maybe a fine. That's if a conviction were registered.
No explanation for the delay or the laying of a relatively minor charge was given by the Crown. Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that the person who killed Hutchinson was a cop -- a cop implicated in another unlawful killing just a year before.
But that's justice, Canadian style. When was the last time you heard of a cop -- any cop -- being prosecuted with the full force of the law and actually convicted of a serious crime for killing anyone? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please to "Our cops can do no wrong", c/o Walt.
At least that was the rumour when these coins -- really commemorating the sacrifices of Canadian lives in foreign wars -- first appeared about four years ago.
The funny thing is, the US Department of Defense took the story seriously. We know this from classified documents recently obtained by AP under the Freedom of Information Act.
Pentagon officials question whether they should warn military officers in the U.S. Northern Command, who regularly met Canadian counterparts about classified subjects inside bug-free government meeting rooms known as secure compartmentalized information facilities, or "SKIFs". (If it didn't have an acronym it wouldn't be in the Pentagon, eh.)
"Isn't the Canadian piece something that should be briefed to Northcom since the Canadians sit in their SKIFs?" asked the "deputy director for counterintelligence oversight", in emails marked "Secret/NoForn."
"Good point," replied the Pentagon's acting director for counterintelligence. "It is possible that DSS (the U.S. Defence Security Service) sent their report to Northcom. Then again, I don't think it is an issue of the Canadians being the bad guys, but then again, who knows."
Indeed. Who knows? Such is the paranoia of the world's most powerful nation.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
If you went to the blog, you'll see that at the moment it's mostly a serious of plugs for the book. That's OK. The book is well worth reading, unless you're not interested in how we are all victimized and played for suckers by advertisers, marketers and the mass media generally. Here's a quote from the preface.
Consider how consumer culture affects society at large. Nothing is wrong with buying and selling. How else would we secure our morning bagel? The problem starts when the profit motive invades places where it has no business being: schools, courtrooms and hospitals.
The situation is complicated by the fact that advertising has increasingly received First Amendment protection, so that sellers are free to advertise however they like, but you aren't free to get away from it. The result? A society that favors noise and idiocy over logic and quiet contemplation. [My emphasis. Walt.]
Ain't it the truth... You can read more of the preface and find out how to buy the book here. But you should be able to find it in the library. Even Walt's small-town library has it.
Bonus: There are several quizes... quizzes??? OK, there's more than one quiz. See how ad-savvy you are, and have fun. And when you know you're being had -- as in the current "ad wars" between the TV stations and the cable companies -- emulate McLaren and Torchinsky, and holler "BULLSHIT" long and loud!
In non-Muslim countries this annoys the neighbours. But it's not just the noise. Some see the minaret as "a political symbol of Islamization … a symbol of political victory.” Minarets are sprouting up all over Europe and in many areas of North America. Look outside. Can you see a strange tower that wasn't there yesterday?
Even though only 4 of Switzerland's 160 mosques (160! In Switzerland!) have minarets, the right-wing Swiss People's Party decided they were fed up and weren't going to take it any more.
They called for -- and won! -- a referendum on a constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets. Four of the nation’s 160 mosques currently have minarets-- the spires from which Muslims are traditionally called to prayer.
Turnout was high at 53%, as was the margin of victory. In spite of the opposition of the oh-so-politically-correct Swiss government and the Roman Catholic church, nearly 58% of voters approved the initiative.
Why? What does this mean? It means that the tolerant and fair-minded Swiss are getting up on their hind feet to oppose the Islamization of the West! The Swiss public, in spite of their wealth, education and traditional civility, has come to believe that minarets are symbols of fundamentalism.
They believe, it seems, that the Muslims in their midst harbour extreme beliefs and practices. And they complain, rightly, that Christians in Muslim countries would not be free to build churches and otherwise make their faith visible, as are Muslims in so-called Christian countries.
Reaction has been swift and predictable. The Vatican, which of late has never heard of a heathen religion it couldn't live with, released a statement saying that the Swiss voters' decision was a setback for religious freedom and for the cause of coexistence among peoples. An international boycott of Swiss goods and an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights are under discussion. Seems to me it's all part of the liberal humanist deathwish for the Christian West.
The nation of 7.5 million is 44% Catholic and 4% Muslim.
Monday, November 30, 2009
The weather was bright and clear in Calgary yesterday afternoon, and the Montréal Alouettes were clear favourites to beat the defending Saskatchewan Roughriders [Rough Riders? I can never remember... ed.] Which made Saskatchewan Walt's bet. Always for the underdog!
Montréal trailed 14-3 at the half and 20-10 after three quarters. Loud huzzahs were heard across the broad prairies under the dome of the big sky [that's enough. ed.] But things looked bad for the bookies. Not only did Montréal not look like beating the spread, they appeared set to grab the umber end of a straight bet at long odds.
Suddenly it's the last 10 seconds of play. Montréal has closed the gap to 27-25. A TD try fails! But the Als have position for a field goal attempt. Damon Duval boots it...wide! The gun fires! Pandemonium erupts! [Does it ever do anything else? ed.]
But wait... ... ... There's a flag on the play. Whatever can be the matter? Saskatchewan has...gasp...too many men on the field! Count `em! 13!!! The unluckiest number...
Duval gets a second chance and kicks the ball 33 yards, high, straight and true, for the 3-pointed. Als win 28-27. Silence is heard [how? ed.] in Macmahon Stadium. And a sigh of relief is heard in bookie joints and betting parlours in Montréal, Woodbridge and, perhaps, Las Vegas.
Pardon me now. I have to go blow my nose. Something smells.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Inspector Knut Kneckr of the Swedish police arrested Ingemar Westlund, a sexagenarian, for killing his wife. Agneta Westlund, also a sexagenarian, was found dead in a forest near the matrimonial home, after failing to return from an evening stroll.
Now the unfortunate widower has been released, after police decided the culprit was most likely a moose. Well, not a moose as we know it, but a European elk, still a rather large animal. A police spokesman Ulf Ockme said "the improbable has become probable", but declined to go into details about what might have transpired.
Expressen, a Swedish tabloid, reported that hairs and saliva from a moose were found on the victim's clothes. Police would not immediately confirm that, and declined to speculate on rumours that the elk was horny. "Those are antlers," Ockme said, "not horns".
Saturday, November 28, 2009
In these posts I've recommended and quoted from excellent books by people who have lived in Africa and have seen through all the hokum put out by the "agents of virtue", as Paul Theroux calls them. Today let me add to the bibliography Kalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers, by Nick Middleton. (1994, Sinclair Stevenson, London; paperback by Orion, 1995)
Middleton made two lengthy trips through Mozambique before and after the 1992 peace accord which ended the long and bitter civil war between the communistic Frelimo and the white-backed Renamo. ("White-backed" doesn't refer to the colour of the soldiers' skins. It means supported by Rhodesia and South Africa.)
He describes Mozambique, before and after, as a place where the West runs into the heart of black Africa -- a country where the Kalashnikov meets the zombie cucumber. Those interested in obscure but potent drugs will find details of what the zombie cucumber is and how it affects you. Middleton does not tell us how to import them.
The part of this "anti-travel" book which bear on the subject of foreign aid show the contradictions of the modern business of doing good. Let me offer just a snippet:
"There are all sorts of motivations for foreigners to give things to...developing countries. In many casees there is certainly altruism... But there is often a degree of self-interest in the generosity too.
"Some aid workers...were not convinced that what they were doing was ultimately necessary, although they would never say as much on the record. When I asked one top employee of an international agency how much longer he thought his aid programme should continue after the ewar ended, he shrugged and said, 'Sometimes I think there was never any need. It's the need of the international community.'"
Kalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers ought to be read by the do-gooders at CIDA (see previous posts) and all those labouring under the delusion that foreign aid and charity will magically save Africa from itself.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Bumper sticker on a Chevy Yukon:
Lost your job yet? Keep buying foreign!
On the cab of a Volvo tractor, said cab being tilted forward to allow access by an obviously frustrated driver:
Volvo quality sucks! ... over a picture of a lemon.
There is a transport company called Fluke Transport. Sure enough, one of their trailers bears this legend:
If it's on time, it's a Fluke!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
If you are a Habs fan, check out Hitler finds out about Kovalev, and Hitler reacts to Koivu's departure. Want more? Hitler finds out about the Habs free agency.
If you're a member of the Leaf nation (are there any left?) have a look at Hitler loses hope in the Leafs.
Like the Sens? Hitler finds out he is now the Ottawa Senators mascot
and Hitler reacts to news that Dany Heatley turned down a trade.
And there's more: Hitler finds out the Canucks signed Sundin.
Thanks and a tip of Walt's chapeau to Agent 4 for recommending these great videos.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Maybe I'm becoming overly sceptical about stuff I read on the Net, especially e-mail FWDs, but I've been burned before and thought I'd check this one out on Snopes.com, a very useful "debunking site".
Ben Stein does commentaries occasionally on Sunday Morning, on CBS-TV. This one "Confessions for the Holidays", was delivered on 18 December 2005. However, the version circulating on the Net includes a coda (shown in blue) combining a TV appearance by Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of TV evangelist Billy Graham) made just after 9/11, and the false claim that the son of child care expert Dr. Spock committed suicide. So take the whole cum grano salis, but keep in mind Mr. Stein's sensible thoughts about religious holidays.
My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.
It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking. Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?'
Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc...I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass this on if you think it has merit. If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard these thoughts, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
UPDATE for Christmas 2013: If you want to know what you can do to remind people of the real meaning of Christmas, check out the "'Keep Christ in CHRISTmas' challenge" submitted by Coralie Graham, editor of the Fatima Crusader, published in WWW on 12/12/13. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Trying to find out what's going on in Ontario's ministries, departments and crown agencies is like trying to pry state secrets out of the Kremlin. (Come to think of it, doesn't Queen's Park look a bit like the Kremlin?)
Whatever the Ontario government is doing, especially where our tax dollars are involved, they don't want us to know about it. Here we see McGuinty, flanked by the Ministers of Tourism and Finance, in conference on allegations of wrongdoing at the Niagara Parks Commission. (See "Power to the people of Niagara" in Walt's blog of October 29th.)
Thanks to pressure exerted by Preserve Our Parks (of which Agent 3 is a member), Bob Gale (a former commissioner) and Bill Windsor (a would-be business partner), the three unwise monkeys were finally coerced, earlier this year, into appointing an "independent" firm of auditors -- KPMG -- to look into the allegations of mismanagement, nepotism, favouritism and corruption.
In July, KPMG submitted a draft report. On page 3 we find this disclaimer: This draft has been prepared and is intended solely for Ministry of Tourism's internal use...and may not be edited, distributed, published, made available or relied on by any other person without KPMG's express written permission.
Presumably "any other person" includes the taxpayers who have paid 1000s of dollars for the auditors' work. Certainly the Minister, Monique Smith, was adamant in refusing to provide copies of the report or any part of it to anyone. Yes, anyone...including the MPP for Niagara Falls, Kim Craitor, who asked for a copy only to be told it was confidential and he couldn't see it. And hey, Craitor sits on the same side of the house as Minister Smith!
So steamed was Kim that he threatened to make an official request under the FIPPA, Ontario's freedom of information law. While he fumed, investigative reporter Anthony Reinhart of the Globe and Mail actually made the request, and was rewarded with a heavily redacted [censored! ed.] version of the "draft" report.
Reinhart's story, "Probe uncovers ethical breaches at Niagara Parks Commission", includes links to the KPMG report as well as the Ontario government's internal auditors' report into the NPCs procurement procedures...or lack thereof.
The text of the KPMG report takes up 48 pages. Check it out and you'll see that no fewer than 14 pages have been crudely deleted, apparently with bits of white paper being stuck over the naughty bits. Two pages (34 and 48) are left entirely blank.
Whatever damning facts or recommendations could they contain? Hint: the censored parts often occur just before or after references to "the Chairman". That would be NPC Chairman Jim Williams, who had the gall to boast in an "interview" apparently dictated to the Niagara Falls Review's cub reporter that he had been exonerated by the KPMG audit.
Is that right, Jim? Then perhaps you could let us have a look at your copy of the KPMG report...the whole thing, that is, with the coverup post-it notes removed.
While we wait, we take a little comfort in being at least somewhat enlightened. Somewhat. Sort of. In a typical half-assed Ontario way. The public's right to know? In Ontario? LMAO.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Canadian dip Richard Colvin says he reported to dozens of superiors in the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the Department of Defence that Afghan prisoners of Canadian troops were almost certainly being tortured, even executed, on being handed over to Afghan authorities. He says officials in the two departments didn't want to know, and that he was told by Prime Minister Harper's office (no less) to shut up about it.
Scene two. Harpoon clams up, refuses to take, let alone answer questions from the press on his return to Canada from a junket through Asia. (There was no time in Steve's busy schedule to look in on the grunts in the `Stan. Some of `em will be dead before the next election anyway.) Tory attack dogs John Boor and Peter MacHackey call Colvin's allegations unbelievable. They described Colvin's allegations as "hearsay", "unsubstantiated" and "simply not credible.
Retired General Rick Hillier, M.A. (Master of Arslikhan) supports the government, says Afghanistan is not like Somalia. But now we hear from the present Canadian Chief of Staff, General Walt Natynczyk. [Gezundheit! ed.] To MacLie's annoyance, Natynczyk confirmed our army stopped transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities on more than one occasion because of concerns about abuse. Until he dropped that little bombshell, the government position had been that the issue had come up only once.
Yesterday an Afghan rights agency, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, weighed in with its latest report. It says it has documented nearly 400 cases of torture from across the war-ravaged country.
On Saturday I wrote that torture of prisoners of war is forbidden under the Geneva Convention. It is also contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada, and violators can now face trial in Canada for war crimes committed outside of the country. Ah, but...some would say...our troops did not actually torture anyone. Walt's legal advisor (Agent 3) says that if Mr. Colvin's allegations are true, Canadian troops could be found guilty of aiding and abetting the torturers by handing the prisoners over. Even if they didn't intend for the prisoners to be tortured by their compatriots, they are at least guilty of criminal negligence in handing them over, knowing that they might well be tortured or worse.
Who knew what? Who did what? Who did nothing? Let's have a public enquiry, starting later today if possible! A parliamentary committee is already asking questions, but -- remember the Schreiber enquiry -- parliamentary committees are by definition more concerned with politics than human rights abuses. Let's get a judge, someone like Louise Arbour, on this.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Fast forward 15 years or so to the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. Canadian soldiers have suffered many casualties, but inflicted many as well, and taken many prisoners besides.
What happened to the Afghans who were taken prisoner? According to Richard Colvin, Canada's top dip in Afghanistan until recently, the prisoners were routinely handed over to the Afghan authorities [an oxymoron? ed.]. Many, perhaps the majority, were tortured. Some were killed.
So what? Canada has lost 132 good young men and women to the barbarities of roadside bombs, ambushes, etc. Other NATO countries have lost hundreds more. So some Afghans were tortured or murdered? An eye for an eye!
Just one thing. Torturing and executing prisoners of war is against the rules. It's contrary to the Geneva Convention. So is handing prisoners over to others who you know will deal with them in such a way. If our troops did what Mr. Colvin says they did, they are guilty of or complicit in warm crimes.
Mr. Colvin says he reported this to his superiors, notably David Mulroney who is now the Canadian ambassador to China. Predictably, no-one wanted to know anything about any breach of the rules of engagement. They told him to be like the three wise monkeys -- see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. According to Mr. Colvin, orders to shut up came from the office of the Prime Minister...another Harpoon from Steve Harper.
James Travers, writing in today's Toronto Star, comments thus:
If the allegations are true, those accountable for the mission put self-interest ahead of national interest. In protecting themselves they exposed Canadian troops to war crimes risk and local retribution, smeared this country's human rights reputation and made nonsense of the argument that Canada's guiding Afghanistan purpose is to seed values, rights and justice.
Just so. Just as happened in Somalia. Mr. Travers sees the parallel between our missions in Somalia and Afghanistan, and lays the blame for any misdeeds not at the feet of our troops, but on the military and political leaders in Ottawa. Quite right he is.
Also on my recommended reading list today is "Advice for the PM", Norman Spector's blog in today's Globe and Mail. Mr. Spector castigates Defence Minister Peter Mackay and the Harper government's resident pit bull, John Baird, for their ad hominem attacks on Mr. Colvin. When you don't like the message, shoot the messenger, eh, boys?
Mr. Spector joins the Liberals and NDP in calling for a public enquiry, not into the conduct of our troops but into the sins of omission or commission of Conservative government. Mr. Travers agrees, and also has something to say about our commander-in-chief at the time, Gen. Rick Hillier.
When questioned about what happened in Afghanistan on his watch, Gen. Hillier responded (I'm paraphrasing here) that whatever we did, it wasn't as bad as what we did in Somalia, where Canadian troops exacted their own retribution on some Somali kids who were unlucky enough to get caught.
Gen. Hillier is proud that in Afghanistan our soldiers behaved in a more professional manner, by turning the prisoners over to their own people. But Travers argues that what should disturb us is the way the situation was handled -- or not handled -- by the military brass and mandarins in Ottawa.
"What's unfolding now is the same old story," Travers writes. "Distant events spiral out of control, secrecy silences truth and the messenger is humiliated, then shot." Shame!
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Jews generally don't kill the Christians, except occasionally as "collateral damage" in their attacks on the Muslims. But the militant Muslims persist in their jihad -- "holy war" -- against their Christian compatriots.
This is true all over the Middle East, including Iraq, the cradle of civilization. Iraqi Muslims make war on each other, but are united in their persecution of the Catholic community.
Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Auxiliary Archbishop of Antioch (Syria), says this is not a matter of politics. The persecution of Christians was not peculiar to Saddam Hussein. Rather it is ultimately rooted in a culture inspired by the Quran.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Archbishop Al-Jamil said the Iraqi Christians are victims of a religious -- not political -- persecution caused by a social system that is inspired by a view of the Quran, according to which Islam and its followers must dominate and regard believers of other religions as citizens with fewer rights.
The archbishop, an expert in Arab culture and literature, explained that according to the Quran, Islam is a religion that is above all others. This attitude is found wherever Islam is the religion of the state. Indeed, in the Arab countries, Islam and the state are one.
That means that in places like Iraq, Libya and -- the worst offender -- Saudi Arabia, the Christian minority does not enjoy the rights and freedoms which we stupid westerners guarantee to the Muslim minority.
Visit Saudi Arabia and you will look in vain for a Christian church. You will not find a Bible in your hotel room night table. And you will not see anyone wearing or displaying any symbol of Christianity, such as a cross or crucifix.
But here in North America the Muslims are free to build mosques (has your neighbourhood got one yet?), wear the hejab or niqab, and preach against our wicked value system, all the while complaining about discrimination and persecution. You want to see persecution? See what they do to Christians in their own countries.
According to Archbishop Al-Jamil, in a democratic country, which Iraq says it is and wants to be [really?! ed.], Christians should enjoy the same rights as the rest of the citizens.
The prelate told ZENIT (a Catholic news agency) he is not in favor of a proposal to protect the rights of Christians by creating a Christian enclave in Nineveh, where there is a Christian majority. Christians are part of the social fabric of the whole country, he said, and should not withdraw into a ghetto.
Click here to read the complete ZENIT report.