Saturday, March 27, 2010

Holy Week, 2010

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the most solemn week in the Christian calendar.

Barring some cataclysmic event, Walt will be silent until Easter Monday.

Kali Yuga

"We live in an age of spiritual decay...what the Hindus call 'Kali Yuga'.

"The Hindus believe that in history there have been epochs of creation and destruction. An empire is built up and then, without warning, it quite suddently falls apart. They say that we are now in a cycle of decay -- that we are too sinful and that everything is cracking up.

"Maybe the Hindus are right. Maybe this is the age of Kali. The dark age... The age of disintegration... All the signs are there."

Dr. Yusuf Jaffrey, Muslim historian, Delhi, quoted by William Dalrymple in City of Djinns.

A good meditation for Holy Week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Pope is not always infallible

I was watching a report, on one of the major TV networks, about the deepening scandal in the Church. The bingo-caller concluded his standup thus: "Catholics believe the Pope is infallible", the implication being that the failure of Cardinal Ratzinger (as he then was) to defrock an evil priest proves he is not infallible. The "reporter" is quite wrong.

First of all, the dogma of papal infallibility applies only to a reigning pope. It does not extend retroactively to say that the man's life and career, up to the point of his election, was unblemished. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, but he is only human.

Secondly, infallibility has to do with things the Pope says, under certain conditions. It does not mean that a pope can never make a mistake of any kind. Again, he's only human. If the Pope looks out the window in the morning and says "I think it's going to rain", and it doesn't, that doesn't prove he's fallible.

To be clear, the Pope is only infallible when
  • he is making a statement or pronouncement on a matter of faith or morals
  • he is speaking from his throne (ex cathedra), and
  • when he says that he is speaking infallibly, in his position and with his authority as pope.

Everybody clear now? You're welcome.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paedophilia in the Church - the effect of the Sixties

An article in Chiesa this week analyses the widespread scandal of sexual abuse by priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. The scandal of pedophilia has always been there, the article says, but was magnified by the cultural revolution of the half a century ago.

The Hippy-Dippy Sixties was a decade of "liberation" -- political, cultural and sexual -- which changed the world. Fruits of this revolution were the "liberation" of women, the spread of feminist ideology, and the acceptance of divorce, birth control pill, and abortion.

The Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was a product of the turmoil of its times. The Church, which for nearly two millennia stood like a rock for certain principles and revealed truths, started to bend to the winds of fashion. Out of this came the corruption and rot which pervades Her seminaries, rectories and even chanceries today.

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, makes the claim in his recent letter to the Catholics of Ireland. The Chiesa article provides commentary by two cardinals and a sociologist. Worth repeating here are a couple of paragraphs written by Professor Massimo Introvigne, president of the CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religion, in a commentary that appeared on 22 March in the Italian edition of the Zenit online news.

"There was in the 1960's an authentic revolution – no less important than the Protestant Reformation or the French Revolution – that was fast-paced and dealt a tremendous blow to traditional adherence to Catholic teaching and values....

"In the Catholic Church, there was not at once a sufficient awareness of the scope of this revolution. On the contrary, it infected – Benedict XVI maintains today – 'also priests and religious', created misunderstandings in the interpretation of [Vatican II], and caused 'insufficient human, moral, intellectual and spiritual formation in seminaries and novitiates'.

"In this climate, certainly not all priests who were insufficiently formed or infected by the climate following the 1960's, and not even a significant percentage of them, became pedophiles. We know from the statistics that the real number of priest pedophiles is much lower than the ones presented by certain media outlets. And yet this number is not equal to zero – as we would all want – and justifies the extremely severe words of the pope.

"But the study of the revolution of the 1960's, and of 1968, is crucial to understanding what happened afterward, including pedophilia. And to finding real remedies.

"If this revolution, unlike those before it, is moral and spiritual and touches the interiority of man, it is only from the restoration of morality, of the spiritual life and of comprehensive truth about the human person that the remedies can ultimately come. But for this reason the sociologists, as always, are not enough: there is a need for fathers and masters, teachers and saints.

"And we all have a great need for the pope: for this pope, who once again – to borrow the title of his latest encyclical – speaks the truth in charity and practices charity in truth."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suspicions confirmed

Yesterday Walt asked, in all innocence, if the Canadian Ministry of "National Defence" had stopped publishing news of casualties, short of death, of the Afghan war. Today Canadian Press reports that, indeed, had quietly ceased releasing such statistics a few months ago.

The official excuse is not that knowing the extent of our losses would alarm and inflame voters, but that the military commanders don't want the Taliban to know how effective their attacks are...or are not. We're not going to help them keep score, you see.

Who do you suppose gave the order to keep this information under the collective beret? My guess it's none other than the feckless Minister, Peter MacHackey. I also guess we'll never know for sure. Such is the cloak of control and secrecy that shrouds Ottawa under the Harper regime.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This is Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick, RIP. He died yesterday of wounds inflicted by an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Fitpatrick is the 141st member of the Canadian Armed Forces to die for... for what? He was only 21.

What bothers me about Cpl. Fitzpatrick's death is that the public wasn't told of the incident until yesterday, although it happened on March 6th. Is it possible that casualties of our troops are so commonplace that the Department of National Defence (sic) doesn't even bother to tell us any more?

And...innocent question for the Prime Minister...what does "National Defence" have to do with our being in Afghanistan?

Monday, March 22, 2010

A plague of bad priests

Consistent readers of this blog will know that I am a Catholic, and an old-fashioned, traditional Catholic at that. In my opinion the Church has lost Her way. Ever since Vatican II, She has strayed ever farther, in teaching and in practice, from the traditional Faith that was handed down to us, through the Apostles, by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Those who know me must be wondering when I am going to say something about the child abuse, sexual deviance and other scandals which have swept through the Church in North America, and now Europe, particularly Eire. I can be silent no longer.

Catholics who are trying to keep the Faith are suffering every day the pain of enduring widespread doctrinal and moral corruption in the Church. The crisis of faith and morals now afflicts the Church in virtually every nation, at least in the so-called developed world.

Even though many good priests continue to honour their vows, we read and hear, almost every day, reports of priestly scandals which undermine confidence in the integrity of the priesthood, not to mention the hierarchy of the Church which has looked the other way or even covered up the misdeeds and crimes of many bad priests and bishops.

In North America alone the incidents of sexual abuse of children and women by clerics cannot even be counted. The criminal and civil dockets of North American tribunals contain many claims that clerics either committed, failed to prevent or covered up sexual abuse of men, women and, worst of all, children.

Even in the Church in Africa and India is afflicted by priestly scandal. I am ashamed to read recent reports of the sexual abuse and exploitation, even rape of nuns, by certain priests in those places. We European Christians went to the rest of the world to preach Christian standards of morality, but what do they learn from us now.

The Vatican acknowledges the problem. From time to time there is handwringing, breast-beating and profuse apologies, which are taking on the appearance of rote formulae which are recited whenever another incident comes to light.

Yet the Vatican is doing precious little to punish the abusers or clean out the nest of homosexual and paedophile vipers inside the Church. The faithful do not see very many excommunications of these predatory clerics, who disgrace not only themselves but their innocent and holy brothers in the priesthood, while destroying the Church’s credibility in the eyes of the public. Punishment is left to the secular courts.

Of course God will judge these evildoers, at the End. See St. Matthew 18:6-7. But the faithful and the world at large need to see something concrete done, and done now.

Book review: "City of Djinns"

Spring has sprung, but in this part of North America you'll never lost money betting on snow in April. So before you break out the BBQ and patio furniture, let me recommend a good book to curl up with in front of the fire.

William Dalrymple was born and raised in Scotland. Somewhere along the line, perhaps at Cambridge, he developed a fascination with Asia in general and India in particular which looks like lasting a lifetime. He has written five books (that I know of) on the subject, of which I have read one and a half, so far.

The one I borrowed from the library yesterday and am already half-way through is City of Djinns, an account of a year spent in Delhi. Having visited Delhi, all too briefly, a couple of years after Dalrymple was there, I must say that I wish I'd read his book before I went.

Dalrymple appears to have a strong interest in architecture as well as history, and readers of City of Djinns will learn lots about both. But the entertainment value of the book cannot be praised enough.

You'll meet Sir David Ochterlony, the British resident who "went native" and established a harem of several wives and concubines, fathering countless children along the way. He might be called the Father of Anglo-India! Then there's Balvinder Singh, the Dalrymples' favourite taxi driver, with a keen eye for "Delhi womens with breasts like mangoes".

And Mr. Puri, the landlady's husband, who kept pursuing Olivia Dalrymple around the house, aided by his tin Zimmer frame. Best of all (?), you'll meet the Haxby sisters, two of the few remaining British residents of Simla, who are convinced that Jewish prostitutes are coming down their chimney and up through their floorboards at night to poison them.

On a more serious -- in fact depressing -- note, you'll read what happened to Delhi during and as a result of the Partition of India in 1947. Readers in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto will find out why their Hindu, Muslim and Sikh neighbours hate each other.

All in all, City of Djinns is a great read. I also highly recommend Dalrymple's first book -- the first one I read -- In Xanadu. If we get an early spell of warm weather you can take either of them to the beach!

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's NOT the law

A further thought on why we seem to be plagued by crimes committed by illegal aliens...

Contrary to the headline .ed put on yesterday's post, it's NOT a problem with the law. There are laws which, in theory, require would-be visitors and immigrants from places like Jamaica to get visas. In theory, people found in Canada without a valid visa or resident/citizen status can be arrested and deported.

The problem is with those words "in theory". If the practice could only be made to conform with the theory, we wouldn't have as many problems of the nature of those reported yesterday. But the laws are not being enforced. Lack of enforcement is the problem, not lack of laws.

Why are the laws not being enforced? For one thing, there are not enough enforcers. And the police, border services agents and "immigration cops" do not have the support of their political masters. The politicians, you see, are afraid of being labelled as racists.

Every time the feds make a swoop on, let's say, a business which is employing illegals, the liberals rise up as one to decry "over-policing" and agitate for the "rights" of "undocumented aliens". Never mind how these people got into the country, or what they do while they're here. If they're here, let `em stay! And throw some money at them to compensate for the inconvenience of having to discuss their status with the "oppressors"!

We -- and I mean Canadians and Americans -- are not just soft-hearted, but soft-headed!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The cost of lax immigration laws

Meet Richard Haynes. He's the one with the Rasta hat...firing the gun. Mr. Haynes will be a guest of Her Majesty for nine years or so. It would have been longer but he missed his target.

At his sentencing in Toronto today Mr. Haynes did not complain that his "community" is "over-policed". Instead he issued an apology -- doubtless sincere and heart-felt -- to his intended victim and the community of which they are a part.

In case you didn't guess, Walt can reveal that the "community" in question is the Jamaican or Jamaican-Canadian diaspora. Mr. Haynes must have felt considerable remorse at living up (or down) to the stereotype. How could he bring shame on such an industrious and law-abiding group? Shocking!

Mr. Haynes will be deported after he does his time. Perhaps his sense of shame will keep him from returning to Canada on the next plane out of Kingston, but I wouldn't bet on it. And if he does try to return, will his record result in his being stopped at the border? I wouldn't bet on that either!

Here are some questions which might be asked of the Minister of Immigration and/or the Minister of Justice.
  • When and how did Mr. Haynes get into Canada this time? Was he (a) a landed immigrant; (b) a visitor or (c) neither of the above, i.e. an illegal alien?
  • If he entered on a visitor's visa, when did the visa expire? Before the shooting?
  • What is the government doing to find and remove visitors who overstay their visas?
  • How was Mr. Haynes supporting himself, before his arrest? Was he working?
  • If he wasn't working, was he receiving welfare or other benefits?
  • Who paid for the lawyers who represented Mr. Haynes and his co-accused?

Canadian taxpayers are going to foot the bill for Mr. Haynes's room and board for the next five years or so. My guess is the tab will run to $400,000 or so. Add in the amount that has already been spent dealing with him, and we're easily up to half a million. And Mr. Haynes is just one of many criminals living in Canada illegally.

If "Call Me Steve" and his finance minister really want to save some money to pare down the horrendous deficit they've run up, they should take a look at the cost benefits of tightening up Canada's porrous borders.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The best pub in the world

An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irisman were in a pub in America ....

"As good as this is," said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow, there's a wee place called McTavish's. The landlord goes out of his way for the locals. When you buy four drinks, He'll buy the fifth drink."

"Well, Angus," said the Englishman, "At my local in London , the Red Lion, the barman will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two."

"Ahhh, dat's nuttin'," said the Irishman. "Back home in Dublin, there's the Shamrock Bar. The moment you sets foot in the place, they buys you a drink, then anudder. All the drinks you like actually. Then, when you've had enough drinks, they'll take you upstairs and see dat you gets laid. All on de house!"

The Englishman and Scotsman immediately shout down the Irishman's claims, but he swears every word is true.

"Well," said the Englishman, still suspicious, "Did this actually happen to you?"

"Not meself, personally, no," admitted Paddy. "But it did happen to me sister quite a few times."

Thanks to Agent 6. It must be chilly in Florida this St. Patrick's day, to keep him in front of his computer!

Your Muslims this week

Agent 6 wondered if "Islamization" by the numbers could be considered "fear-mongering". I don't think so. All that Peter Hammond has done is to present statistics as to the percentage of Muslims in certain countries -- not a Nobel-winning piece of research -- and look at recent political and social events in those countries. His inferences may be frightening to Christian Westerners, but that's not the good doctor's fault.

It has been suggested that Islam is not as bad as all that. Dr. Hammond and others who say there is a Muslim plot to "Islamize" the world are racists and xenophobes, some say...and don't much like strangers either! Let's look at the events of the last seven days and see if we can draw any conclusions.

Every week The Economist begins with "The world this week", a summary of the week's events in politics and business, one page of each. The 13 March issue has 21 items on the politics page. Here are seven of them, with comments from Walt.

  • Bombs exploded in Baghdad to coincide with Iraq's election. Rival alliances of different Muslim groups are fighting -- literally -- for power. But that's democracy in the Middle East.
  • Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims were supposed to hold "indirect talks", mediated by Joe Biden, over conflicting claims to Jerusalem. Let it be remembered that Jerusalem was first a Jewish holy city. Then it became holy to Christians because of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Centuries later, the Muslims came along. Christians are only a tiny minority there now, but Muslims and Jews both claim they should control, not share, the entire city.
  • Hundreds of Christians were massacred by Muslims in the Plateau state of Nigeria. Plateau lies betweenthe Muslim north and Christian south of that lawless country. The state and national "governments" are powerless to halt the carnage.
  • One of Egypt's senior clerics, Sheikh Muhammad Tantawi, died of natural causes (?) in Saudi Arabia. The Economist says "he was a force for moderation who angered radical Muslims by...rejecting their insistence that Muslim women should be wholly covered."
  • The White House said it would take weeks more to decide where to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11. His supporters and the usual Voices of Human Rights think he should receive a fair trial in an ordinary criminal court, rather than a military trial which one might think should follow an act of war.
  • A British cartoonist was convicted by a Turkish court for drawing a caricature of the country's prime minister as a dog. He narrowly escaped going to jail. In the West, of course, we are free to depict our presidents and prime ministers as dogs, or jackasses or whatever fits.
  • A suicide bomb killed 13 Muslim government officials in Lahore, Pakistan. And another six were killed when a foreign aid agency's office in Manshehra, Pakistan, was bombed. The Pakistani bomb-throwing team is expected to own the podium in the next summer Olympics.

So, that's seven (7) stories out of 21, or 33%. Percentage of Muslims in the world, according to Dr. Hammond -- 22. 22% of the population, 33% of the bad news...this week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What DO they eat, there?

To the Wormy Apple (it's rotten to the core) to shop for Asian food. I live in a small town, so a trip to the big smoke is necessary to find anything more exotic than bok choy. While Mrs. Walt laded the cart with chicken claws, jiaozi, ribbon fish, wood ears and other fungi, I busied myself checking out the unusual brand names of some of the products on offer.

You've probably already heard of Pocari Sweat, a well-known (?) Japanese sports drink, the oriental version of Gatorade. I was first introduced to it when I bellied up to a bar in China and asked if they had any energy drinks. The barman said "No Sweat" and gave me a Coke. Sweat is now available in powdered form. Just add water and sweaten to taste.

How about some junk food...errr, snacks. You can choose from Hello Panda -- presumably not made from any endangered species -- or Pocky, whatever that is. But it's not as if we don't have strangely named snacks on this side of the Pacific. How about Milk Duds, the most aptly-named candy I ever tasted.

Walt's prize for Strangest Brand Name goes to... the envelope please... Placenta! You wash your face etc. with it. It's herbal soap. As for me, I'll stick with Ivory.

Are there any brand names, oriental or occidental, that strike you as odd? Share them with us. Click on the headline and the post will display on its own page, with a comments box at the bottom. Thums Up! (It's an Indian substitute -- a damn poor one -- for Coca-Cola.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Islamization" by the numbers

What follows is said to be adapted from Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, by Dr. Peter Hammond. This excerpt and comments on it have gone viral. Walt did a Google search for "Peter Hammond Islam" and got nearly 50,000 hits. I'll give you a couple of links at the end.

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well. Here's how it works:

As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
United States -- Muslim 0.6%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1.8%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:
Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal food on their shelves -- along withthreats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. [There was a push for this in the province of Ontario, Canada, only a few months ago. It only just missed being made law because of the pressure of an informed public. Walt] The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to cartoons depicting Mohammed and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections of:
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 15%

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%
[And don't forget Nigeria, roughly 50% Muslim. Check out this weekend's news from Plateau state, where hundreds of Christians were butchered by Muslims. Walt]

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:
Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some state-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward being 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced in:
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%

100% will usher in "the peace of Dar-es-Salaam" -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:
Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

"Before I was nine, I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel." -- Leon Uris, TheHaj

It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law.

The police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses (religious schools) where they learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world's population by the end of this century.

Those are some numbers to think about...and think again. Click here to read a review of Slavery, Terrorism and Islam by Forrest W. Schultz. You'll find a link to a site from which you can purchase a copy for yourself.

To read a Muslim's reply (and other threads about Islam, by Muslims), click here to visit Ummah Forum. "Ummah", I have been told, means "domination". You'll find a short YouTube video on this point here.


Three mischievous old grannies were sitting in front of a nursing home, when an old grandpa came walking by. One of the old grandmas yelled out,"We bet we can tell exactly how old you are."

The old man said,"There is no way you can guess my age, you old fools."
One of the old Grandmas said,"Sure we can! Just drop your pants and undershorts and we can tell your exact age."

Embarrassed just a little, but anxious to prove they couldn't do it, the old man dropped his drawers. The Grandmas asked him to first turn around a couple of times and to jump up and down several times. Then they all piped up, "You're 87 years old!"

Standing with his pants down around his ankles, the old gent asked, "How in the world did you guess?"

Slapping their knees and grinning from ear to ear, the three old ladies happily yelled in unison..."We were at your birthday party yesterday!"

Thanks to Agent 6 for brightening up a dull day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can the US ambassador sing in chiShona?

Agent 22 was an invited guest at last month's 86th birthday party for Zimbabwean dictator Comrade Bob Mugabe. For the first time ever, the celebration was held at a foreign embassy in Harare. Guess whose! Yes, it was the Chinese embassy. Right the first time.

Agent 22 was impressed, as were the assembled members of Zimbabwe's Politburo (they actually call it that) to hear the Chinese ambassador sing the national anthem in excellent chiShona. One official was heard to ask an American journalist, "Can your man do that?"

The whole scene was a perfect example of Chinese diplomacy in action, and how the Chinese are nurturing their business and political interests in resource-rich Africa. As he sliced the birthday cake, "Bob's Your Uncle" effused, "We treasure this friendship. It's not really the relations that count, but the love, alliance and understanding."

Ah yes...and the money. It had been rumored that China was losing its patience with the virtually bankrupt Mugabe regime's failure to pay even the interest on the soft-as-brie loans given to them by the Chinese. But, perhaps as a birthday present, China agreed to a three-year rescheduling of a US$55 million debt owed by Ziscosteel, Zimbabwe's largest steel-maker.

As discussed in China Safari, from which I took several excerpts earlier this month, China's winning approach combines easy loans, cheap consumer goods (their merchandise is called "zhing-zhong" in Zimbabwe), and uncritical political support at world talking shops like the United Nations. Plus guns and birthday cakes for all who pledge allegiance to "one China" and its Communist dictatorship.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beer commercials and advertising in Walt's blog

A couple of months ago -- January 6th to be exact -- I wrote about some really good commercials for Rickard's beer. Click here to see the post and follow the links to the ads.

Today I received a comment from "Graeme" from Molson-Coors, the beer company with the Can-Am name. Just in case you don't go back to the January post, here's his comment:

Glad to hear you like the commercials! Thanks for sharing. You can also make your own version on our site - using your own lines or some preselected ones.

The site Graeme refers to is So if you've got time to kill this weekend and an urge to be creative, go for it. Who knows? You might just land a job...

On the subject of advertising generally, and Internet advertising specifically... A couple of people have asked why I don't "monetize" Walt Whiteman's World by accepting the advertising that Google will happily place on the screen for you to consider while reading the posts.

The reason is simple. I wouldn't want you, dear reader, to think that I in any way endorse or approve of or want you to know about some of the products and services that might appear. Once a blogger allows advertising, he (or she) has no control over what ads Google places on the blog.

For instance, if you were reading a post with the label "abortion", you might find beside it an ad for Planned Parenthood. I am violently opposed to Planned Parenthood or any organization which promotes abortion as a kind of retroactive birth control!

There are lots of things and people I'm opposed to. [Really??!! Whoda thunk it! ed.] And some things which I think are worth recommending. If I have some thing or some person to recommend to you, I'll do it in my posts.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One law for some

How often has it been said that there's one law for the rich and powerful, another law for the rest of us?

On Tuesday, in the quaint little town of Orangeville, Ontario, a former Member of Parliament, Rahim Jaffer (Conservative, Edmonton) , struck a plea bargain with the local crown attorney (political affiliation unknown).

The young Gaffer pled guilty to a charge of careless driving. The Crown withdrew criminal charges related to cocaine possession and drunk driving. Crown attorney Marie Balogh said only that there were "significant legal reasons," and no reasonable prospect of conviction. She offered no further explanation.

The judge said the ex-MP "caught a break". Indeed. He paid a fine of $500, and, no doubt out of the goodness of his heart, made a $500 contribution to "a charity". [Possibly Mothers Against Drunk Driving? ed.] And he gets to keep driving.

Jaffer, by the way, happens to be the husband (spouse? partner?) of Helena Guergis (Conservative, Simcoe Grey), Minister of State for the Status of Women in the government of "Call Me Steve" Harper. Walt is sure that connection had no bearing on the Crown's decision to slap Jaffer's wrist and send him on his way.

The rain it falleth on the just
And on the unjust fella,
But mostly on the just because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella.

Footnote: Read "From poster couple to problem couple". The Winnipeg Free Press calls Rahim and Helena a "poster couple for political entitlement". Walt invites readers to nominate other political couples for a suitable award.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New government seal

Agent 46 passes on the following announcement...

The government has today announced that it is changing its official emblem to a red, white and blue condom because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance. The condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects pricks, and most importantly from their point of view, gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed.

It doesn't get any more accurate than that!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

China and Africa: a scary conclusion for America

Moeletsi Mbeiki, a brother of former South African president Thabo Mbeki, talked about the cheap Chinese imports being sold all over Africa...and here in North America.

"Africa sells its natural resources to China," he said, "and China sells the well-manufactured products back to Africa. This dangerous system reproduces Afrca's past relationships with colonial powers. Not only must Africa hold on to its own resources for its own industrialization but China must also contribute to the deindustrialization of countries that are relatively developed."

The quote is from China Safari, by Serge Michel and Michel Beuret, recommended previously. It's an account of China's expansion in Africa and its implications for the rest of the world.

The rest of the world includes North America. Dear American and Canadian readers, think about what your countries export to China. Canada exports more raw materials and non-renewable resources than manufactured far. And what do we get back? Frogs that croak when you punch them on the nose. (See last post.)

Not so long ago, when I was something of a political activist, Canadians used to worry about becoming mere "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for the USA. We didn't worry that American troops would march into our country and make us all sing "the Star-Spangled Banner". (They tried that in 1812 and it didn't work.) No, Canadians worried that America would simply buy us!

Today the USA owes trillions of dollars to "others". Who do you suppose holds the largest slice of the American pie? That's right. China owns over 10% of all outstanding American bonds and t-bills, not to mention billions of US dollars in reserves. China could drive the USA into bankruptcy in an instant, if it so chose. But it won't. To do so would be economic suicide for China.

In the brave new world of the 21st century, China and the USA have a symbiotic relationship. They depend on each other. They need each other. All because of simple economics.

But who controls the relationship? Who are the colonizers and who are the colonized? Clearly, the Chinese own China. But who owns America?

An invasion of junk

China Safari, from which I've posted quotes before, has a chapter devoted to the effect of Chinese imports on the economy of Africa. Here's an excerpt. As you read it, don't think about Africa. Think about your last visit to the local Walmart.

"Chinese consumer products are sold at rock-bottom prices all over Africa. As well as spoons, triple-A batteries, voluminous bras and mattresses...there's eerything else: clothes, shoes, shampoo, pumps, generators, telephones, jugs, nougat, watches, glasses, kettles, dishes, toys. You get the idea. The list goes on and on, like God's 'to-do' list on the third day. And all of these items sell at a fourth or a fifth of the price the people have been used to paying.

"The stock sells out fast, and more and more Africans wonder how they ever got through life before without a small purple plastic frog that croaks when you punch it on the nose.... Cheap goods can be an even more habit-forming drug in poor countries than they are in rich ones.

"David Zweig, professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, knows all about it: 'In the past, if a state wanted to expand, it had to take territory. You don't need to grab colonies any more. You just need to have competitive goods to trade.'"

Monday, March 8, 2010

More on what China's doing in Africa

French journalists Serge Michel and Michel Beuret [les deux Michels, ed.] made a grand tour of Africa a couple of years ago, visiting 12 countries as well as China. Their purpose was to discover what the Chinese are doing in Africa, and what might be their grand plan for the Dark Continent.

Out of their research they created an eminently readable book: China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing's Expansion in Africa. The book contains many interviews with Africans, great and small, who work with or for the Chinese.

One such is the very prosperous and urbane Claude Alphonse N'Silou, the Congolese* minister of construction and housing. Here are two quotes from M. N'Silou.

"[The Chinese] come from so far away, yet look how quickly they adapt. They live modestly, as we do, and we all get along very well with one another. And why? The Chinese build things and the Europeans don't.

"For Europeans, democracy is synonymous with progress. But the Chinese, like many Africans, think that more than a sprinkling of democracy is a dangerous thing. They worry that if China becomes too democratic too quickly and implodes, then the world will suffer the consequences. That's why the Chinese don't demand reforms from the African regimes they deal with: they understand that a little harshness is necessary. They sympathize."

I would suggest that the second quote reveals just as much about this African government official and his attitude to democracy as that of the Chinese. But it's the next quote that is really telling.

"They're dangerous, the Chinese. You watch out -- in ten years the world will be theirs."

* referring to Congo (Brazzaville), not the so-called Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's hell getting old!

Old people have problems that you haven't even considered yet!

An 85-year-old man was requested by his doctor for a sperm count as part of his physical exam. The doctor gave the man a jar and said, "Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow."

The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor's office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day. The doctor asked what happened and the man explained, "Well, doc, it's like this. First I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing.

"Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing.

"We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezin' it between her knees, but still nothing."

The doctor was shocked! "You asked your neighbor?!"

The old man replied, "Yep, none of us could get the damn jar open."

Thanks to Agent 6!

Understanding China's aims in Africa

As promised yesterday, here are some interesting excerpts from China Safari by Serge Michel and Michel Beuret.

French anthropologist Stephen Smith cruelly declared that "since independence, Africa has been working at its recolonization. ...even if this was not the intention, it couldn't have done a better job. The continent is doomed to failure. No one is ready to take it on."

But the Chinese are taking it on.... China has a long-lasting vision for Africa, and its goals far exceed the limited scope of the former colonial powers. Some critics believe that China is motivated purely by a strategy based on the teachings of Sun Tzu: "To defeat your enemy, first offer him help so that he slackens his vigilance; to take, one must first give."


Mauro de Lorenzo, a research analyst at the very conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was...enthusiastic about the Chinese business venture in Africa.

"We westerners are locked into a humanitarian vision. It's politically correct.... But humanitarianism is also a means of control; it maintains the power relationship.... The Chinese don't have these psychological limitations. They go to Africa to do business, profitable business. Hopefully that will be an eye-opener for us and we will follow their example. Our humanitarian aid has done its own share of damage."

More next time. Walt is still reading....

PS: This is Walt's 300th post, another milestone (?). Thanks to ed. for his help and to you, dear readers. I know you're out there. That's why I write.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is China building an empire in Africa?

In past posts I recommended books pointing out the adverse and counter-productive effects of western aid to Africa. Having seen how Europe and America have failed to save the Dark Continent from itself, we should start now to look at what the Chinese are doing there.

The Chinese have been coming to Africa as travellers, traders, coolies, or entrepreneurs since at least the 14th century. Now they are undertaking to build on that continent an economic empire which will command a network of allies in China's quest for political dominance of the world.

If you want to rule the world, first you must colonize it. So thought the French and British in the 18th and 19th centuries. They succeeded, to a degree, before losing the political will to hold onto their rebellious colonies.

The Chinese have evidently learned from the mistakes of the guilou. If you own a country, you don't have to rule it directly. (They could have learned this from the position of Canada vis-a-vis the USA.) And if you want to own some countries, buy the cheapest ones first.

And so the Chinese are stealthily but surely buying their way into Africa. While the west looks at Africa's humanitarian crisis, and gives aid in the form of cash, food and medicine, China looks at the economic crisis, and quietly builds infrastructure and develops large and small businesses. Some might call it exploitation. The Chinese call it good business.

Walt recommends China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing's Expansion in Africa (2009, Nation Books, New York), by French journalists Serge Michel and Michel Beuret. More on this new book tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ontario schools forced to promote masturbation, homosexuality seems to be attracting a lot of readers. I've already referred twice to its article on the folly of sending condoms to Haiti at the expense of more appropriate and needed aid.

Predictably that article aroused the ire of the "planned parenthood" and "women's reproductive right" crowd -- the folks with the unenviable task of finding euphemisms for baby-killing. Well yes, dear readers, speaks for the pro-life, anti-abortion campaign. It draws support from Christians -- Catholic and Protestant -- and members of other faiths who believe in family values and decry the degradation of society espoused by the liberal humanitarians.

Earlier this week LifeSiteNews published a shocking report: "Mandatory Curriculum for Ontario Schools Promotes Homosexuality, Masturbation". The Ontario government, it seems, has caved in to the demands of the LGBT community* and will be introducing a new and morally disordered sex education curriculum next September.

Grade 6 students in Ontario's publicly-funded schools -- that could include "public Catholic" schools -- will be taught that masturbation “is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body,” according to a newly-revised curriculum released by the Ministry of Education.

Dear "Luna", here's the source -- the Ministry's new Health and Physical Education curriculum for grades 1 to 8, published in January. This will be mandatory for all schools that get government money -- taxpayer money -- beginning in September 2010. The high school curriculum will be released this spring, and will become mandatory in September 2011.

LifeSiteNews says it is unclear, at this point, whether Catholic schools are to be forced into teaching elements that violate Catholic teaching.

The new curriculum aligns with the Ministry's campaign to promote “equity and inclusive education” in Ontario's schools, which includes the advancement of homosexualism and transgenderism. A notable aspect of the curriculum's revision is the attempt to instil a sense that homosexuality and transgenderism are perfectly normal.

Thanks to Agent 71 for passing this along, with this note: What will it take for us to be involved and take some form of action.Please go to this site and see what is coming into Ontario. This news affects all of us.

A good question. When are normal people going to stand up and resist having this evil agenda crammed down our throats?!

* LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered

Warning to Windows XP users

Walt is not an early adopter. If I get used to something, it takes me a long time to let go of it and try something new. Thus I am still using Windows XP. It does all I need, I know how to use it reasonably well, and I see no reason to change.

That is not to say that Windows XP is not without its bugs, flaws and faults. Every couple of weeks, it seems, Bill Gates sends me a new patch or service pack which I dutifully install. But just as fast as MS trots out the fixes, hackers and other Bad People seem to find or invent new problems.

From time to time, Yahoo News runs articles by a computer geek named Christopher Null. (I wonder if his partner is Cosmo Void.) The blog is called "The Working Guy". Today Mr. 0 gives us fair warning of a newly-discovered problem with XP.

If you're running Windows XP, be sure to read "Don't press F1". Here's a quote: "Microsoft is warning of a brand new exploit that can cause computers running Windows XP and using the Internet Explorer web browser to become infected with malware at the push of a button: Specifically, the F1 button."

Every so often someone sends me an e-mail warning of some terrible virus. I usually turns out to be a hoax or a myth, and I would pass on any such without checking it out through or some other reputable source. But this looks like the genuine article (forgive the pun) so keep your finger off F1 until Bill sends the fix.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Canada's silent transformation

Many older Canadians, people who were born here, keep telling me, "Canada has changed. This isn't the country I grew up in. This isn't the country I remember." It's not just nostalgia, viewing the good old days through rose-coloured glasses. It's a fact.

Now Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada, has written a thoughtful article about how Canada is being subtly but definitely changed, without the knowledge or consent of its citizens.

According to "Canada's silent transformation", the changes the country is witnessing are being brought in under the radar by a government the majority of Canadians didn't vote for, driven by forces in the U.S. and the rest of the world. And, Mr. Himelfarb suggests, these changes are not in our best interests. Canada is becoming a tougher, meaner place in which to live.

Why so? Because we're not paying attention. And because Canadian political parties are not discussing policy -- if indeed they have any to discuss. They are in perpetual campaign mode, trash-talking each other and thinking only of getting or staying in power.

Mr. Himelfarb argues that it's high time there was a public conversation on the kind of society we want. It's time we start to shape that change, he says, before it's shaped for us. Thanks to Agent 26 for sharing this bit of worthwhile reading.

The solution to the problem of poverty: condoms for all!

No post has drawn more comments recently than "Covering Haiti with rubber".

Readers are taking issue with the math. (How many condoms does it take to fill 83,300 cu. ft. of warehouse space? Answer: A lot!) "Luna" wants to know the source of the quote from Canadian general Romeo Dallaire. (Answer: Ask LifeSite News.)

Seems to me those who quibble about the fine points of the story -- which has not been denied by the Red Cross, the Haitian government or anyone else -- are failing to see the forest for the trees. [What trees? Haiti was largely deforested even before the earthquake! ed.]

The point is that a lot of the "aid" which goes to Haiti and other impoverished or disaster-stricken third-world countries is in appropriate and arguably wasted. Sending condoms -- whether a thousand or a million -- to Haiti or Rwanda is not addressing the real needs of those poor countries' people.

Rather, sending aid is something rich white liberals do because they feel guilty...or because they have a hidden agenda, such as promoting birth control even if such goes against the culture and religion of the people.

Hey, if we can't whip evangelical Christianity on `em, at least we can stop `em from reproducing! Or we could kidnap those "unwanted children" whose birth could have been prevented if only the people had had enough condoms!

A bang-up 4th of July

On a slow day -- post-Olympic letdown -- let's have another tale of stupidity, courtesy of Darwin Awards.

Two co-workers decided to celebrate the 4th of July (2008) in their own special way. The plan? They loaded an old washing machine with tens of pounds of firecrackers, lit a fuse, dropped the lid, and ran...

Nothing happened. Twenty minutes later, they decided that the fuse was a dud and went back to try again.

Presumably neither was aware of the chemical friendship between oxygen and fire. As they lifted the lid the entire washer exploded, landing them both in the hospital for several days.

Shrapnel from the washer spread in a 25-ft radius, leaving a large crater in its wake. Considering the impact crater, each perpetrator suffered relatively minor wounds and burns.

Those who enjoy reading stories about morons becoming ex-morons due to carelessness or outright idiocy will enjoy the Darwin Awards website.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How many languages is enough?

Let me declare my bias at the outset. I believe in official bilingualism, or even multilingualism for those countries in which there are enough speakers of "minority languages" to warrant it. If you've got 20 or 25 or 30 or 40 percent of the population who speak a language other than that of the majority, their language needs and deserves recognition or protection.

It's a good principle, based on equity and in most cases history. But in practice, it tends to get a bit messy, especially when the number of official languages rises to three or more. Switzerland has four official languages, not including English which does not have official status. In South Africa they went from two (English and Afrikaans) to (I think) nine. India has 15...I think. It's a Babel out there!

The trouble starts when you try to make sure that everything "official" is done in both languages, as they do in Canada. I was reminded of this watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics yesterday. Here are a couple of paragraphs from today's Canadian Press report.

Organizers promised they wouldn't try to shoehorn in more French to appease critics who said the opening ceremonies were too English-centric. But there was, in fact, more French-language content, some of which didn't feel accidental.

Avila, Yanofsky and Derek Miller joined forces on "Let's Have a Party," which featured French and English lyrics, Furlong struggled through a bit of rough French at the top of his speech and sprinkled more throughout. Lavigne and Fox both exited the stage by announcing "Merci beaucoup."

"Furlong" is the chairman of VANOC, the Vancouver games organizing committee. Listening to him mispronounce the few lines of French which had been written for him was painful. I felt embarrassed for him. But no English-speaking Canadian politician would dare read an entire speech without trying to get out a couple of words in "the other language".

So also we have the crazy debate about which language to sing the national anthem in. The lyrics for "O Canada" were originally written in French. The words are very beautiful, also quite Catholic and chauvinistic, with references to carrying the sword and the cross. Loyal Orangemen can't stand those words!

There have been two or three English versions written since, with nice but quite different words, including "our home and native land", which is objected to (so they say) by immigrants. The political correctness just gets worse and worse.

What is sung now at events like the Olympic closing ceremonies or an Ottawa Senators hockey game is hodgepodge of a couple of lines of English, then a couple of lines of French, and some more English. It leaves even the reasonably bilingual about a half-note behind the music, because everyone is waiting to hear which language the next guy is going to sing!

I mention this as food for thought to American readers. Pressure is building in the USA to recognize Spanish as an official language, at least in some of the southwestern states. If that happens, who's going to write new lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Banner"? And can we be patient during official ceremonies while, as in Canada, everything is said first in one language and then in the other?

Official bilingualism sorely tests our brotherly love. To avoid coming to blows, people do not need to learn a second language, but they do need to learn to be tolerant of others.

Well done, eh

Walt took the weekend off to watch the last three days of the Olympics. First, congratulations to all who won medals, and more congratulations to those who tried, even though they hadn't a snowball's chance of winning.

Congratulations as well to the host country for organizing a first-rate games. Sure, there were a couple of hitches and glitches, but all the competitions were held, no security breaches occurred, and it looked like a good time was had by all.

It was nice, too, to see Canadians not taking themselves too seriously. Leaving aside the "own the podium" campaign and the whining of a few professional malcontents, there was a lot of "hoser humour" and general goodwill on display. And that's as it should be. Well done, Canada!