Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ed. answers your questions

Walt has gone out trick-or-treating, without leaving any words of wisdom. So your obdt. servant, Ed., will take the opportunity to answer some of your questions. Nothing original about the concept. It's been done by Scott "Dilbert" Adams and Garry "Doonesbury" Trudeau, whom we (Walt and I) salute.

Di Hard asks, "Is Walt Whiteman a real name?"
Answer: Of course. Google it and you'll see. Besides, if I were going to make up a name, I'd use something witty like "Hugh G. Wrexion"...or "Di Hard".

From Africa, Sarah Leone writes, "I'm sure Di meant, is 'Walt' the blogger's real name."
Answer: I cannot tell a lie. "Walt" is short for "Walter".

A German reader, Leigh Bling, is confused. "I can't decide if Walt is a Canadian making fun of Americans or an American making fun of Canadians," she writes. "Which is it?"
Answer: Walt has dual citizenship.

On a related topic, Hal Seeyon asks, "If Walt is not Canadian, why does he use British English spellings?"
Answer: As you can see from his picture, Walt is very, very old. He learned to spell before Noah Webster attempted to reform American orthography.

Finally, we have a very broad question from Marian Twinette: "What's Walt really like?"
Answer: Walt really likes Coke (the brown fizzy drink), gladioli and Lois Griffin.

You're welcome. Keep those e-mails coming in. walt.whiteman@yahoo.com.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The masses are revolting!

As a follow-up to my posts of the 26th and 28th about Rob Ford's victory over the liberal elites in the Toronto mayoralty race, please read today's column by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail.

The headline is "There's good reason why the masses are revolting", and the headline says it all. Ms Wente goes on at some length about the blindness of the chattering classes who inhabit the media offices, universities and fashionable salons of Toronto...and New York. It's a fine, insightful column.

And it's not just about Toronto. Ms Wente is speaking of the disillusionment and anger of ordinary people right across North America. Here's what she has to say about the impending Democrat debacle in the USA.

In the United States, people’s lives have only gotten worse since Mr. Obama took office. Unemployment is higher. More than half of all families are worried about making next month’s mortgage or rent. Health-care reform is so impenetrably complex that people don’t know where they stand. What they do know is that their premiums have gone up and their Medicare coverage is being cut. Sixty-three per cent of Americans say they don’t feel they’ll be able to maintain their current standard of living. They know Mr. Obama didn’t create the mess, but they think he’s made it worse.

No wonder the independent voters who put Mr. Obama into office have deserted him. Fifty-five per cent of the electorate now say they are or lean Republican.

Great stuff. Read it all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What the Qu'ran says about wife-beating

Agent 6 has sent us this video clip which apparently has gone viral but somehow escaped Walt's attention.

video

Not speaking Arabic, I can't vouch for the accuracy of the translation, although the sub-titles do seem to match the gestures in a couple of places. I've had a quick look at Google listings associated with the clip, and haven't found any that say it's a hoax.

You may take it cum grano salis [Walt does have a smattering of Latin. Ed.] but don't deny the possibility that it is an accurate statement of the Islamic view of the proper relationship between husbands and wives. It's a pity we Christians aren't so enlightened.

"Ornery voters" full of "elite-phobia"

Walt still has his umbrella up to deflect the fallout from Monday's municipal elections in Toronto. An interesting column appears in today's Globe and Mail in which pollster Frank Graves (the one who said it was the vizmins wot won it for Ford) is quoted thus: "The electorate is 'newly elite-phobic' [but] it’s not clear whether the 'ornery-voter landscape' will be sustained."

Mr. Graves gets Walt's Master of Fuzzispeak prize for this week for creating not one but two pieces of jargon, which will probably be repeated ad nauseam by other pundits, and of course mangled and chewed to death by TV's talking heads.

Still, Walt likes the sound of those words, especially "ornery voters". Some will see a similarity between "ornery" and "ordinary". And that's the whole political story, in Canada and the USA, at this moment in time. [No more jargon, please. Ed.] The ordinary people have gotten ornery. Good on `em.

As for "elite-phobia", I think what this means is that the ordinary people have grown tired of being told by the chattering classes not just what to do (and not do), but what to think. So we -- I'm including myself -- have risen up on our hind feet to say "Piss on you! I'm going to do what I think is right!" Good on us!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Germany's Merkel talks reality...again

German chancellor Angela Merkel, already being pilloried by "progressives" and believers in multicult around the world, has done it again. "It" being advocating a return to common sense on issues of race, culture and religion.

Associated Press reports today that Frau Merkel's government intends to criminalize forced marriages as part of efforts to cope with the rapid grown of Germany's largely Muslim immigrant population.

The Interior Ministry said Wednesday that the German cabinet has agreed to a proposed law that would make forced marriage a crime. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that forced marriages are “a tradition that may have been tolerable in olden times” but not in modern Germany.

Of course this would happen in Germany, or maybe France, with long histories of racism and xenophobia. They don't like strangers very much either. It could never happen in countries like the USA and Canada where we "celebrate diversity". After all, it's our diversity that makes us strong, right?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Party takes Toronto, liberals soil selves

Agent 3 (a native of Toronto, and how many can say that, these days?) reports much soiling of silks by that city's Volvo liberals, erstwhile progressives and lamestream media types. The reason? An AWM by the name of Rob Ford is the mayor-elect of Canada's largest city!

Gentle reader, I kid you not. A straight WASP has won handily over Big Gay George, with a certified ethnic coming a distant third. This in a city where heterosexual English-speaking whites have become almost an endangered species.

But the "normal people" are still out there, in Toronto's suburbs if not in spitting distance of the CBC's downtown studios. The silent majority [Did you coin that phrase? ed.] has finally awoken from its slumber long enough to vote for a return to sanity from the diversity-enriching social engineering policies of the previous lefty-led administration.

Rob Ford was accused of being a populist demagogue. [And much worse. ed.] Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Seems to Walt that Hizzoner-Elect simply gave voice -- a loud and clear voice -- to the thoughts of over 50% of Toronto's voters.

Among those who saw a Ford in their future must have been a significant number of immigrants, including the vizmins who now populate ghettos in various parts of the Little Apple of the North. This in spite of the fact that Ford was demonized as being a blatant racist. One pundit said that it was the south Asians who swung the election in Ford's favour.

How could this be? Why would the racist candidate suddenly be surrounded and endorsed by scores of turban-wearing Sikhs? An explanation comes from two incidents reported during the last week of the campaign.

- Posters appeared asking how Muslims could vote for "a man who 'married' another man"...meaning Furious George Slitherman, the "Big Gay George" referred to above.
- An ad was pulled from a Tamil-language radio programme for making essentially the same point.

Homophobia? That's what the PC types say. But the fact is that the majority of third world cultures have a very strong taboo against homosexuality. So does Islam. So do Judaism and Christianity. The difference between the Judeo-Christian preaching and the Islamic proscription is that the Muslims actually pay attention to what their faith teaches them.

Hence the feelings of revulsion engendered by George's flaunting of his sexual orientation. The gay "marriage" wasn't bad enough. Oh no. George and his husband/wife (no-one is quite sure which is which) had to adopt a child -- a lovely baby boy -- during the campaign. There were some who applauded Mr. (Mrs.?) Smitherman's bravery and dedication to gay rights. But others clearly didn't see it that way.

The analysts are now picking over the entrails, trying to figure out whether the apocalypse of Toronto will spread throughout Ontario and Canada. There is no Tea Party in Canada yet. (Indeed, there are no parties at all in municipal politics in Ontario.) But the people -- the majority who are fed up with "progressive policies" and ever-increasing taxation -- have discovered that they can buck the trend. Stay tuned. As Christie Blatchford wrote in today's Globe and Mail, vox populi vox Ford!

Biggest ratholes named and shamed

Every year Transparency International compiles a list of the most corrupt countries in the world. They rank 178 countries on a scale of 10 to 0, with ten being the least corrupt and zero the most corrupt.

Coming in at the bottom of the league table for 2010, with a score of 1.1, is ... the envelope please ... Somalia! Tied for second-worst are Myanmar ("Burma" to the old Asia hands) and ... wait for it ... Afghanistan!

Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore topped the list as the countries with the most virtuous public sectors. China is No. 78, the USA No. 22, Britain No. 20 and Canada No. 6. Canada's ranking improved from No. 8 last year, presumably because the White Elephant Inquiry [Oliphant enquiry, surely! ed.] couldn't pin anything on former PM Brain Baloney.

OK, we all know most of those Third World countries are more corrupt than are we westerners. If you entertain any doubt, click here to see the corruption map. Note how the colours get deeper as you go south and west. So what?!

I'll tell you what. Ask your congressman or MP which countries receive the largest chunk of your country's foreign aid. If you're a Canadian taxpayer, you will be less than pleased, I would think, to know that Afghanistan -- specifically the régime of Mohammed Karzai -- is the Number 1 recipient of the largesse of the régime of "Call me Steve" Harper.

Canada has earmarked nearly $2 billion for "development assistance" to Afghanistan, blithely ignoring concerns about corruption which have been expressed for years and years. Just last week, Krazai admitted that his government receives millions of dollars in cold hard cash from ... wait for it ... Iran!

But wait a minute. The krazai guy is our friend, right? And Iran is our enemy, right? Why would our friend be taking money from our enemy? Turning the question around, why would we be giving billions of dollars to someone who is also in the pay of our enemies?

Doesn't make sense, does it... But then, the whole concept of pouring money down Third World ratholes doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Maybe Hellery Clinton or Lawrence "Loose" Cannon can explain it to me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

From our man in southern Africa

Agent 22 sends us a little levity for a Sunday morning...

Police in the South African province of Gauteng (the area around Johannesburg) have just announced the discovery of an arms cache of 200 semi-automatic rifles with 250 000 rounds of ammunition, 10 anti-tank missiles, four grenade launchers, two tonnes of heroin, 80 million rand in forged South African banknotes and 25 trafficked Nigerian prostitutes, all in a block of flats behind the Hillbrow Public Library.

Local residents were stunned. A community spokesman said, “We’re shocked. We never knew we had a library!”

Friday, October 22, 2010

PC claims another victim

Juan Williams, famous for composing the incidental music to Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark [Are you sure about that?! ed.]

OK, let's start again... Juan Williams, famous for being a senior news analyst on National Public Radio is now famous for being an ex-commentator. His contract was terminated (meaning he was fired) on Wednesday following his politically incorrect comments about Muslims on the Monday edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News

In a statement released late Wednesday, NPR said Williams’ words were "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

Gee Walt (I hear you asking), what did he say? Did he use the N-word or the R-word? Did he say anything about "jihad"? Sorry, no...

What Juan -- who is a vizmin, by the way -- said was, "When I get on a plane ... if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried, I get nervous."

That makes him pretty much the same as Walt and millions of others. According to a study released by the Muslim West Facts Project earlier this year, 43 percent of Americans admit to feeling at least "a little" prejudice toward Muslims. No biggie, right?

But that's cutting too close to the bone for NPR, which is pretty close to the heart of what Sarah Palin calls the LSM -- the Lame Stream Media. As host Bill O'Reilly put it, "You [Williams] live in the liberal precincts; you actually work for NPR."

So Williams' termination was bound to follow his expression of his personal opinion, as surely as an explosion follows the lighting of a fuse. It's happened before. See "The Juan Williams treatment: five other ousted media personalities", from the Christian Science Monitor.

What happens next? Says the CSM (itself not exactly detached from the LSM): "The NPR Juan Williams affair may not be a real campaign issue, but it has given conservatives the chance to rail against government waste and liberal elitism, favored targets of tea party groups." Click here to read "NPR, Juan Williams: Did firing put network smack in tea party's crosshairs?" And stay tuned.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The weather of London (England)

Let me clear. [For a change. ed.] The London mentioned here is the big one -- the capital of the United Kingdom. There is a smaller one in Ontario. And there is a New London in Connecticut. I have visited all three.

I have also visited Orillia, Ontario, where I called at the home of the famous Canadian humourist, Stephen Leacock. Unfortunately, he was not at home, having expired several years previously. I never went back.

However, his demise did not prevent me from reading and rereading some of Leacock's tremendously funny books and essays. I revisited one today, and find it has aged well. In other words, it's still funny, 88 years after it was first published.

The book in question is My Discovery of England. This work is not as well-known as, say, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, but has great appeal for lovers of travel writing, of which I am one. Here's an excerpt, an observation about London's weather.

No description of London would be complete without a reference, however brief, to the singular salubrity and charm of the London climate. This is seen at its best during the autumn and winter months. The climate of London and indeed of England generally is due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.

The way it works is thus: the Gulf Stream, as it nears the shores of the British Isles and feels the propinquity of Ireland, rises into the air, turns into soup, and comes down on London. At times the soup is thin and is in fact little more than a mist; at other times it has the consistency of a thick Potage St. Germain. London people are a little sensitive on the point and flatter their atmosphere by calling it a fog; but it is not; it is soup.

The notion that no sunlight ever gets through and that in the London winter people never see the sun is of course a ridiculous error, circulated no doubt by the jealousy of foreign nations. I have myself seen the sun plainly visible in London, without the aid of glasses, on a November day in broad daylight; and again one night about four o'clock in the afternoon I saw the sun distinctly appear through the clouds.

Those who think that funny travel stories about Britain were invented by Bill Bryson should check out My Discovery of England. I defy you to read it without at least snickering, and more likely laughing out loud.

Footnote: I do like and admire Bill Bryson. His new book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, appeared in the bookstores this month.

Simpsons are NOT Catholic: producer

Here's the latest, a firm denial from Simpsons producer Al Jean. Any real fan would know the Simpsons are "Presbylutheran". Clips from the "Father, Son and Holy Guest Star" episode are included.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Muslim desecrates altar in Florence

A young Muslim man sparked outrage in Florence, Italy, last week when he climbed onto the altar of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the city’s most famous church) and "danced".

The young man, who has been identified by police as a refugee from Somalia [no surprises there. Ed.] made no effort to resist when he was arrested after his brief display in the Duomo. Police report that he is emotionally unbalanced.

This being the 21st century, the whole disgraceful thing was captured on video and is on YouTube. Click here to see it.

Walt would be interested to know what happens to the crazy Muslim. Will he be jailed? Will he be put in a mental institution? Will he be deported? Will he be executed? Or will he just be forgiven, as an example of the tolerance of diversity which we westerners are encouraged to promote?

And just one more question... Suppose a Christian profaned a mosque in, say, Riyadh; what do you think would happen to him?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homer Simpson secretly Catholic?

It was hard to surf the Net today without seeing a report, based on a story in the Daily Telegraph, that the Vatican, through L'Osservatore Romano, has praised The Simpsons as "among the few TV programmes for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes".

I'm told the story was carried on Fox News, which I never watch. [Walt's tongue was not in his cheek when he wrote that. I checked. Ed.] I did see the story in the Washington Post, the Toronto Star and Time. The link in Time goes to Orange News, a UK website. I've been wandering through the e-maze for hours and keep coming back to the Daily Telegraph story.

But is it true? The Telegraph refers to an article in L'Osservatore Romano headlined "Homer e Bart sono cattolici" ("Homer and Bart are Catholics"). Sadly, the Torygraph provides neither a date nor a link, making it impossible to check. Links in the Post and the Star took this searcher to the Vatican newspaper, but I searched through it in vain for the promised story.

My scepticism is not assuaged by the Telegraph's synopsis of the 2005 Simpsons episode "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star". Yes, in that episode, Homer and Bart are tempted (by such benefits as pancake suppers) to convert to the True Faith. But any real fan would know that they are "rescued" at the last moment by a team of deprogrammers, comprising Marj, Rev. Lovejoy and (of course) Ned Flanders. Sounds to me as if someone in London (or maybe the Vatican) is making this up!

So...did anyone out there actually see the original article? I want so much to believe it, but the modern Church has made a questioner out of me. I believe the Pope is Catholic (and that other thing about bears) but when it comes to Homer, I want to see proof!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Famous for miracles and modesty, Brother André canonized

The province of Québec, although no longer the bastion of Holy Mother Church that it was before the "Quiet Revolution" of the 60s, rejoices today at the canonization of Brother André Bessette, the founder of Montréal’s Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal and a man famous for healings.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Brother André, the first male saint born on Canadian soil. The Holy Father urged Catholics to follow the example of the simple man who showed endless devotion to the poor and the sick.

The ceremony in Saint Peter's Square took place before 50,000 pilgrims from around the world. 5000 made the trip from Québec and other parts of Canada.

The “Miracle Man of Montréal,” or "the Rocket Richard of Miracles", as he has been called, was already a superstar in his home province. When he died in 1937, aged 91, a million people filed by his coffin at the Oratory, which he had founded in 1904, and where he had worked for decades as a humble doorkeeper and janitor.

Saint-André, as he will now be known, is associated with an extraordinary 125,000 miracles. Two of the healings were investigated thoroughly by the Vatican and were judged to be medically inexplicable -- true miracles.

His first Vatican-confirmed miracle was the healing in 1958 of a Québec man, Giuseppe Carlo Audino, who suffered from cancer. He prayed to Brother André and the cancer disappeared. This miracle was cited in Brother André’s beatification -- the first step on the journey to sainthood -- by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

The identity of the second "miraculee", has never been publicly revealed. Apparently he is a young Québecois, probably 19 or 20 years old, who suffered massive cranial trauma in a road accident as a child in 1999. He was evidently in an irreversible coma, from which doctors said he would never awake.

The boy’s family and friends prayed to Brother André. Against all odds, the boy emerged from his coma. The recovery was judged scientifically inexplicable by several independent doctors. This second miracle qualified Brother André for sainthood.

Dare we hope that Saint-André's canonization will be followed by yet another miracle -- the reawakening of religious fervour in Canada's most Catholic province.

Click here to read "The Rocket Richard of Miracles" by Eric Reguly, from the Globe and Mail.

Multiculturalism "utter failure": German Chancellor

According to recent polls, a significant part of the German population feels their country is being overrun by foreigners.

Recently, Thilo Sarrazin, formerly an official with Germany's central bank, published a book accusing Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society. And Horst Seehofer, chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU) -- a sister party to the governing Christian Democrats (CDU) -- spoke out against any relaxation of immigration laws. He said last week there was no room in Germany for more people from "alien cultures."

Germany's chancellor -- the equivalent of the British or Canadian prime minister -- is Angela Merkel. For years now, Frau Merkel has tried to accommodate both sides of the debate. She talks tough on integration, but, out of the other side of her mouth, tells Germans that they must accept that mosques have become part of their landscape.

This weekend, Ms Merkel became the first leader of a major western country to give up on multicult and political correctness. Her oft-repeated wish that everyone learn to get along together has been defeated by ... wait for it ... Germany's burgeoning Muslim population.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of the CDU, Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

Her exact words (translated) were, "This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed."

Walt congratulates Ms Merkel on her courage in stating the obvious, but wonders if she has a Final Solution in mind.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Muslim can't rape his wife, Imam says

Ed. tells me I should clarify that headline. It doesn't mean that a Muslim isn't allowed to rape his wife. It means that if a couple is married, according to Islamic principles violent, non-consensual sex is not rape.

In other words, rape isn't rape when it occurs within a marriage. So says Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain.

In an interview with the blog "The Samosa", he said "Clearly there cannot be any rape within the marriage. Maybe aggression, maybe indecent activity."

The sheikh (or imam) was speaking about a new (2008) "Muslim Marriage Contract", drafted by the London-based Muslim inssitute to modernize the contract that governs most Muslim marriages in the UK. The contract says, among other things, "The husband undertakes not to abuse his wife/child(ren) verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually."

Sayeed said the revamped contract just serves "to make it exactly as the Western culture demands is as if we are compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values." [My emphasis. Walt.]

But, the imam told the blog, "It is not an aggression, it is not an assault, it is not some kind of jumping on somebody's individual right. [My emphasis again.] Because when they got married, the understanding was that sexual intercourse was part of the marriage, so there cannot be anything against sex in marriage. Of course, if it happened without her desire, that is no good, that is not desirable."

Not desirable, but also not a crime, he said. Instead, if a man rapes his wife, he should seek forgiveness from his wife and Allah, Sayeed said. That's what good Muslims believe.

Footnotes:

1. Walt was unable to locate "The Samosa". The source for this post is an article in "DownloadsEdge". Similar articles have appeared today in a number of British and Canadian newspapers.

2. There is a series of clips on YouTube -- actually one documentary divided into sections -- called "Islam: what the West needs to know". Chililng subtitle: "An examination of Islam, violence, and the fate of the non-Muslim world." Click here to see the 4-minute trailer; then, if you wish, follow the YouTube links to see the whole thing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Aisha

Meet Aisha. She's 19 years old, and an Afghani. Her picture appeared, as you see it, on the cover of the Augsut 9th issue of Time.

What happened to her nose? It was cut off by her husband in yet another example of the Islamic customs that we westerners are supposed to tolerate in the name of diversity and multiculturalism.

Why? Seems poor Aisha had the temerity to run away from home. You can get more details in the magazine.

But this is a good news story. Aisha is now in the USA, where she has been fitted with a prosthetic nose, which she will wear until she can have transplant surgery (perhaps Barbra Streisand could donate?) or otherwise get a new proboscis.

Meanwhile, Aisha received an award presented by California first lady Maria Shriver and met privately with former U.S. first lady Laura Bush, an honorary adviser of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council.

There is probably no truth to rumours that Mmes Shriver and Bush asked Aisha how she smells.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fair trial may require removal of niqab...or maybe not

This is a niqab. Devout Muslim wear them so that no man (except a close family member) may see their face and hair.

In Toronto, a 32-year-old Muslim woman has accused her uncle and cousin of sexual assaults (plural intended). If her story is to be believed, the men have seen considerably more than her face and hair. Yet at the trial, the woman insists that the Canadian Charter of Rights protects her "right" to wear the niqab while giving testimony.

Lawyers for the accused say that the court should be able to judge the demeanor of the witness, thus the niqab should be removed. So the trial judge has referred the issue to the Ontario Court of Appeal, which today came down firmly astride the fence, telling the trial judge that he must conduct a preliminary inquiry as to why the complainant's religious beliefs necessitate her wearing the niqab.

But, the court said “If, in the specific circumstances, the accused’s fair trial right can be honoured only by requiring the witness to remove the niqab, the niqab must be removed if the witness is to testify.”

However, the judgment continues, trial judges must respect witnesses' religious rights by allowing them to testify about their religious beliefs and compelling them to remove a niqab in as few cases as possible.

The Court said that trial judges must search for a sensitive compromise that will respect the complainant's religious needs while, at the same time, allowing the defence to assess her demeanor during testimony. A good compromise, lawyers say, pleases no-one. And sure enough, the Court of Appeal suggests a good one.

[A compromise] may include having as few people in the courtroom as possible, and ensuring that most or all of them are female, it said. “Those measures might also include, where constitutionally permissible, an order that a witness be cross-examined by female counsel...If necessary, the court could be closed to all male persons other than the accused and his counsel.”

The learned judges did not comment on the possible infringement -- if their "for instance" were to be followed -- of the accused's right to counsel of his choice (male or female), and the legal presumption that a trial should be held in public, with the courtroom open to all, not just males or females.

For a more complete account of a bit of judicial logic remarkable for its tortuousness and political correctness, see today's report by Kirk Makin in the Globe and Mail.

Let us not forget Dickens' dictum: the law is a ass. But must it bray so loudly?

Footnote: The Toronto Sun summarized the story thus: "The Ontario Court of Appeal has refused to make a blanket decision [sic] as to whether sexual assault complainants should be allowed to wear their veils in a witness box." Brilliant! ROTFL!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mainstream political commentators decry multicult

Walt read an interesting comment this weekend on the subject of government-funded multiculturalism, as endured by the silent (and polite) majority in Canada since the Trudeau era. The source follows the quote.

The inception of official multiculturalism simply entrenched the system of government subsidies for minority groups, paid by politicians in the none-too-subtle expectation that this expenditure of public funds would produce dividends in the form of workers and votes at election time.

Multiculturalism is a boondoggle that now costs federal taxpayers [millions of dollars] a year. No politician really expects that he or she can lock up the Italian vote by giving grants to Italian-Canadian organizations in Toronto. Politicians know, however, that they can expect trouble with the Ukrainian vote in Winnipeg if they give money to Italians in Toronto and not to Ukrainian groups in the Manitoba capital.

Once a grant is given to one ethnic organization, it becomes painfully difficult, politically, to say no to any other group.

This is from Leaders & Lesser Mortals, published in the early 1990s. Since then the expenditure of Canadian taxpayers' dollars on multicult has jumped into the billions. And the pandering to "ethnics" has expanded to include South Asians (meaning Indians, Pakistanis and of course Tamils) in the GTA, Chinese in the GTA and Vancouver, Haitians in Montréal, and any other ethnic group you can think of, as long as they are present or potential voters.

Who wrote these non-PC words? Not some racist Tea Partyer, but John Laschinger, "Canada's only full-time professional political campaign manager" and Geoffrey Stevens, parliamentary correspondent for Time, and national political columnist for the Globe and Mail. And remember, they were writing in 1992. The cult of multicult has grown exponentially since then. Let's kill it!

Father slaps teen girl to death over religion

Police in Longueuil, Québec, won't say whether they're dealing with an honour killing or not, in the case of a 13-year-old girl who died after her father hit her during an argument about religion.

Moussa Sidime, 71, called police last Wednesday evening and told them he had struck his daughter during an argument at the family home. After slapping her two times in the face with an open hand, he was apparently surprised that she fell down.

Officers found Noutene Sidime unconscious and bleeding from the nose. She was taken to hospital, where she died late Saturday. So far, the father has only been charged with aggravated assault. More serious charges may follow an autopsy.

The Sidimes are immigrants [Not refugees? Ed.] from Africa. The PC press has so far refrained from disclosing what religion the family follows. However, neighbours told TV interviewers that they had heard the father chastising the daughter for not saying her prayers.

Thailand deports illegal migrants

Much rejoicing in Ottawa this morning as Steve Harpoon and his toadies receive news that Thai police have rounded up over 100 Tamils who were allegedly waiting in a suburb of Bangkok to embark on yet another boat for Canada. The Canadians' Big Book of Excuses has been put back on the shelf until next time.

It's noteworthy that the Thais -- apparently smarter than the Canucks -- sent the Tamils back to Sri Lanka. Nothing was said about their being refugees. Their "human rights were not involved". They had no hearing. And they had no taxpayer-funded legal counsel. Just ship `em out, is what the Thais did. No bleeding heart liberals there!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Test your RIQ (Religious Intelligence Quotient)

Here's a suitable Sunday exercise for you, courtesy of Agent 17, who has been much in touch in the last couple of weeks.

In "Test Your Savvy on Religion", New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof passes on the results of the Pew Research Center's Religious Knowledge Survey.
It turns out that most religious people are surprisingly uninformed about their own religions, not to mention others.

Almost half of Catholics didn’t understand the idea of Communion. Most Protestants didn’t know that Martin Luther started the Reformation. Almost half of Jews didn’t realize Maimonides was Jewish. And atheists were among the best informed about religion. Walt supposes agnostics weren't sure about anything.

Mr. Kristof provides us with a little pop quiz -- 13 questions to test your knowledge of what he calls the more extreme aspects of Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Walt just barely passed. How about you?

Friday, October 8, 2010

12 OFWs arrested in KSA for performing Christian worship

The headline is from the website of the Filipino TV network GMA. Filipinos are heavily into abbreviations and acronyms. Allow Walt to decode for you...

"OFWs" are Overseas Foreign Workers (or Overseas Filipino Workers) and "KSA" is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The story is about a French priest and 12 Filipino laymen who were arrested for organizing the celebration of Holy Mass at a Saudi hotel.

Approximately 150 expatriates were in attendance at the Mass. Those who were arrested were taken to a police station and charged with proselytizing, but then released. Presumably they will face Islamic "justice" later.

So that's what happens when Christians try to practise their faith in a Muslim country. Yet we who live in nominally Christian countries are expected to allow the Muslims to build mosques and pray not just in the mosques but in the streets. What's wrong with this picture?!

Headline of the week

Unintentionally funny headline of the week, from Yahoo! News:

WAfrica children still exploited to make chocolate

That does it! I'm not eating any more of that stuff!

Incredible! "Canada's national newspaper" against multiculturalism!

The good not-so-grey-anymore Globe and Mail, which likes to think of itself as Canada's version of the New York Times, has a lead editorial today entitled "Strike multiculturalism from the national vocabulary".

This is quite unaccountable! For nigh on four decades the Globe has been so politically correct as to make one [meaning Walt. ed.] puke. This is like the Times coming out for Ron or Rand Paul!

Now the question is, whence cometh this Damascene conversion? Is it a trial balloon floated by the Prime Minister's Office, with which the Globe is not entirely unconnected? Or could it come from an even more sinister source? No... There is no more sinister source!

Or could it be that the Globe has taken note of the comments posted by its readers, which run about 8 to 1 against immigration from the third world, multiculturalism and "progressive thinking" in general.

Anyway, good for the Globe for having dared, for whatever reason, to bell the cat. Now let's see who lines up behind them.

Does Mr. Liu know about this?

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other freedoms are guaranteed in the constitution of the People's Republic of China, whose 61st anniversary was celebrated (by some) a week ago. As with many things in China, what you get is the opposite of what you see. Freedom of speech, like freedom of religion, is a joke, and a cruel one at that.

One man who dared to invoke his constitutional right to speak out is Liu Xiaobo.
In December 2008, Mr. Liu and other intellectuals, published Charter 08, a lengthy manifesto that called on China's Communist Party to uphold individual rights and relinquish its monopoly on power.

Modeled on Charter 77, the manifesto drafted by Czechoslovakian rights advocates three decades earlier, Charter 08 eventually garnered some 10,000 signatures before government censors pulled it from the Internet. All mention of it is now fobidden in China and it has disappeared into a 1984-like "memory hole".

But Charter 08 and its creator have not been forgotten in the West. Mr. Liu has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

One wonders if Mr. Liu knows about the honour which has been bestowed on him. That’s because he also has been consigned to the "memory hole". Now he spends most of the day in a prison cell he shares with five others in the obscure city of Jinzhou, 300 miles from Beijing.

Why is Mr. Liu there? Because the Communist Chinese government, last December 25th, gave him a little Christmas present -- an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power”. So much for freedom of speech in China.

Here, courtesy of Agent 3, who lived and worked there for three years, are the five rules for survival in China.
1. Don't think.
2. If you think, don't speak.
3. If you think and speak, don't write.
4. If you think, speak and write, don't sign your name.
5. If you think, speak, write and sign your name...don't be surprised!

If only Mr. Liu had known! Walt joins Agents 3, 78 and 88 in congratulating him. A file-bearing cake will be sent as soon as we can figure out which guards to bribe.

Footnote: Click here to read "Nobel Peace Prize Given to Jailed Chinese Dissident", from today's New York Times.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

If they were only white...

The Big Issue that is absolutely off-limits this election season is immigration. North or south of the world's longest semi-defended border, everyone wants to talk about it but no-one is willing to talk about it, for fear of being prosecuted for "hate crime".

Let's mince no words. The real problem is not that "those people" are immigrants. There is a grudging acceptance of the proposition that America and Canada do need more newcomers, because without them our populations would shrink. That's because of our continuing sins of abortion and artificial birth control.

No, the problem is that we are letting in the wrong sorts of immigrants. An influx of skilled, white immigrants, willing to accept our society's values, learn our language and try to assimilate, would be a Good Thing, as it was with those who came from Europe following the Last Big One.
But those who are washing up on our shores now -- literally -- are not that kind.

What is bothering people is that the current wave of immigrants is non-white. And they seem determined not to just to remain so, but to flaunt their very different cultures and religions, demanding that we accommodate ourselves to them, not the other way around.

Today's Globe and Mail has a relevant and thoughtful column by the always provocative Margaret Wente, entitled "A few frank words about immigration". Frankly, you should read it. It seems Canadians are about to embark, at long last, on a long-overdue debate. Be part of it.
Every

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Disadvantaged youths": what is to be done?

Walt is following with interest an e-debate -- OK, a discussion by e-mail -- between Agents 3 and 17 about what, if anything, should/can be done with/to/for black youths, now known in PC circles as "disadvantaged persons".

These kids (?), it seems, are "depraved on account of they're deprived". They come from dysfunctional homes, usually without fathers, so naturally they become gangstas. And their alienation from mainstream society also manifests itself in bizarre dress, incomprehensible jive talk (or gansta rap or whatever it's called these days) and generally antisocial behaviour.

For two cases in point, see "Pants on Ground Prompts Bullet in Butt", an incident in Memphis, and "Boy, 14, among youths facing gun charges", from Toronto.

What to do? That's the $64 question in Toronto, Memphis and just about every North American city. If anyone has a workable suggestion not involving firing squads, Walt would be pleased to read and publish it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The effect of the affect

OK, I remember now. It's the confusion of "affect" and "effect".

Normally...normally..."affect" is a verb and "effect" is a noun. So...
How does the new bylaw affect you? but
What is the effect of the new bylaw?

But, English being what it is, "affect" can sometimes be a noun and "effect" can be a verb.

"Effect" (the verb) means to cause something to happen, to bring about something. For example, "President Obama promised, if re-elected, to effect any change that didn't get effected the first time."

At one time, the noun "affect" was synonymous with "affection; passion; sensation; inclination; inward disposition or feeling". In modern times it is sometimes used by the shrinkers of heads, meaning "feeling or emotion" or "an expressed or observed emotional response". So, "The effect of his affect was quite shocking."

All clear now? You're welcome.

Say it right!

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, abuse of the English language is something up with which I will not put. I am tired of hearing and reading the following mistakes in the media.

I do not blame the bingo-callers who say these things while reading the news, for they are chosen for their looks and not their education. I do blame the writers and editors who commit these errors to paper or screen.

"Incidences" for "incidents"
"Incidence" means the rate or range of occurrence or influence of something, especially of something unwanted, e.g. "the high incidence of heart disease in men over 40". The word would almost never be used in the plural. If you have a number of occurrences (actions or facts or instances of occurring) of, say, murder, those would be "incidents".

"Service" for "serve"
Where I grew up, "servicing" was what you took your car or your cow in for, at the appropriate season. "Serving" you was what the butcher or the baker or the propietor of the general store did if you had cash money in your hand and they weren't out fishing.

There was a third one, beginning with "A", that I meant to write about, but it has slipped my mind. That's what happens when you get to an advanced age.

I will add it when I get apoplectic (that wasn't it) enough to remember it. Meanwhile, I refer you to a good online resource: www.dictionary.com. I wish media types would check it once in a while.

Monday, October 4, 2010

An example of state intervention in one family's life

Following up on my previous post, I can't resist quoting one paragraph from Neil Reynolds's advance review of The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life, the new book by Professor Kenneth Minogue. The columnist cites, from the book, a horrific example of the British government's plans to control the personal lives of ordinary people.

Prof. Minogue writes from Britain, where the Labour government (2007) began seizing “unacceptable” families and holding them, without consent, for extended periods of behaviour-modification training by cadres of civil servants from eight government departments. These families had a record of drug addiction, child violence and poor mental attitudes. Where, he asks, will this cleansing end?

Before you say that such things would never happen in the USA or Canada, think of how many instances you're aware of where an agency like Child Protection Services has stepped in to take children out of homes which they deem "unsuitable".

I was discussing this with Agent 3 yesterday. He remembers a case in rural Ontario where the local Children's Aid Society (the equivalent of CPS) took two children away from their parents because a city-bred social worker was appalled that their farmhouse had only an outdoor toilet and she had noticed "a couple of bruises" on one child's arms.

The parents had to fight the CAS for custody of their own children. The small-town judge who heard the case suggested that the CAS had been a mite over-zealous, and gave the kids back. That was over 40 years ago, but Agent 3 opines that there is, if anything, more state intervention in our lives today than there was then.

When, he and Walt ask, will the almighty government remember that the government that governs best governs least? When will they leave us alone?!

The tyranny of good intentions

I can hardly post a book review in advance, but I can tell you about a book I mean to read as soon as I can get my hands on it. Neil Reynolds, writing in the Globe and Mail, alerts us to a new book by Kylie Minogue which I've immediately entered on my "must read" list.

Dr. Minogue is a professor emeritus at the London School of Economics. [I think you mean Dr. Kenneth Minogue, not Kylie. Ed.] Oh. Yes... Well, it'll be an easy name for me to remember when I visit the library.

Nearly 50 years ago, (Reynolds writes), Dr. Minogue published The Liberal Mind, his classic study of the dominant philosophy of the 20th century: radical niceness.

Rooted in extreme liberal optimism and salvationist aspiration, this triumphant ideology (Prof. Minogue said) tenaciously advanced the notion that history requires the perfection of human society, that governments – in pursuit of this perfection – are obliged “to provide every man, woman, child and dog with the conditions of the good life.” Prof. Minogue ended with a warning: “A populace which hands its moral order over to governments, no matter how impeccable its reasons, will become dependent and slavish.”

I see strong parallels with Godfrey Hodgson's America in Our Time, recommended here several times this summer. There is no bibliography in Mr. Hodgson's 1976 work, but I wouldn't be surprised if he owes a debt to Dr. Minogue.

Now the good doctor has published what Reynolds calls "a remarkable sequel": The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life. He picks up where he left off, documenting the ways in which democracy requires strict obedience to the state -- and to the bureaucratic moral order that sustains it.

Boy, does that ever ring true. Sounds to me like a tome that should be perused, if not read cover to cover, by libertarians everywhere.

You can read the column by Neil Reynolds here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goalies gone wild!

This is for all you hockey lovers. I know you're out there. Yahoo! Sports has picked up (from YouTube, apparently) two excellent videos which originated with TSN SportsCentre.

Americans might guess from the spelling that TSN is Canada's equivalent of ESPN...only better because it has way more hockey. But I digress.

Total running time is almost 23 minutes, which makes the vids too big for Walt to copy and upload. Why would I bother doing that anyway, when all you have to do is click here.

Although this is mostly about goalies fighting, there are some short clips of netminders' really horrible miscues and mistakes. Included, of course, is the 197-foot floater let in by Vesa Toskala, late of the Toronto Maple Laffs.

This has featured on my blog before, but in case you missed it, check out "The worst Finnish NHL goalie ever", right here.

video

Weird sex laws

A page of "the top twenty weird sex laws" is all over the Internet like a rash. Since I like things that go by tens, I've picked ten of the best...and a controversial No. 11...to brighten your dull day. Please note disclaimer after the last one.

1. In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands. The husband’s lover, on the other hand, may be killed in any manner desired.

2. In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.

3. In Alexandria VA, no man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of onions, garlic or sardines on his breath. It must have been a city council of henpecked husbands that enacted that one.

4. There are men in Guam whose full-time job it is to travel the countryside and deflower virgins, who pay them for the privilege. This is because according to the customary law of Guan it is forbidden for a virgin to marry.

5. In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals, but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination. He may only see their reflection in a mirror.

6. Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or a piece of wood at all times.

7. It is illegal for any member of the Nevada state legislature to conduct official business costumed as a penis, but only (apparently) while the legislature is in session.

8. In Santa Cruz, Bolivia it is illegal for a man to have sex with a woman and her daughter at the same time.

9. In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens her mother must be in the room to witness the act.

10. In Sioux Falls SD, hotel rooms must only have twin beds. The beds must be a minimum of two feet apart IF a couple rents a room for only one night. And it is illegal to make love on the floor between the beds. No wonder the airport code for Sioux Falls is SUX! [That's Sioux CITY! Ed.]

And here's the bonus...
11. Most Middle Eastern countries recognize the following Islamic law: "After having sexual relations with a lamb, it is a mortal sin to eat its flesh."

I'm waiting for someone, perhaps Agent 17, to tell me there is no such Islamic law. Angry denials have already appeared on the Net. But since Agent 17 is not a Muslim, how would he know?!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Feedback on the Islamization of Paris (29/9)

A friend of Agent 17's writes from somewhere in western Europe (is all quiet on the Front?) to suggest that the video from CBN be taken cum grano salis. Here's his comment:

I think you will need a good dose of salt. I watch the French news (TeleFrance 1) at least five times a week. I have not seen a thing about muslims blocking streets to pray. I think they settled the burqa law a few months ago, as did Belgium which banned it in public places like schools. On the other hand there has been daily updates on what Sarkozy has been doing for the last few weeks, which is to ship Roma (gypsies) back to Romania. This seems widely supported in France but the EU justice minister came down hard on Sarkozy.

There was quite a spirited exchange a week ago between Sarkozy and the justice minister and Sarkozy and the head of the EU (the Portuguese guy whose name I can't remember at the moment). Sarkozy says there is nothing illegal about what he is doing as the people are returning to Romania of their own free will. He has been giving each person 300 euros to help them make that decision a bit easier.

Walt says... The secular media, which includes TeleFrance 1, do not always report matters of concern to or attacks on the Christian Faith. CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) is what its name says. It's possible the events shown in the video happened as and where shown -- looks like France to me -- but only CBN thought it worth of reportage.

Thanks to Agent 17 and all for reading and keeping Walt posted...so to speak.

Shared values

Every time someone mentions the Great American Melting Pot (see previous post), someone else says that either it never existed or it's a uniquely American construct and won't work in Canada.

In answer, I give you the parallel between the development and present condition of New York City and Toronto. (They are both fine places to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there!) Toronto may have been a pretty provincial "white-bread" city until about 60 years ago, but now both cities can only be described (being charitable) as "communities of communities".

Torontonians often refer to their city as "The Little Apple", leaving out the adjective "wormy" which can be applied to both big and little apples. They see Toronto as just as "world class" as New York, which means just as blighted and just as divided by race and ethnicity. You want to see ghettos? New York's got them...in spades! [Oh please... Ed.]

But perhaps -- dare we hope? -- New York and Toronto are not metaphors for the countries in which they are situate? If we could detach them from the neighbouring land mass and let them drift out into the Atlantic, we might be left with a more homogeneous North American society.

The idea of multiculturalism rests on the assumption that there is no majority community with a shared culture and shared values. Multiculturalism treats the USA and Canada as blank slates on which anything at all can be written. This is wrong.

Canada and the USA are western democracies, founded on Christian principles. In recent years people have been trying to remove the "European cultural bias" (not to mention God Himself) from our constitutions. Yet we do seem to have embedded in our DNA some quaint notions, such as:
* One person, one vote.
* Freedom of speech.
* Freedom of the press.
* Freedom of assembly.
* The right to dissent
* The supremacy of secular law.
* Religious tolerance

Granted, some of these values, like "one person, one vote", weren't there from the beginning. And some, like the idea of equality of the sexes, have yet to be fully realized. But they are in the makeup of the overwhelming majority of native-born Americans and Canadians.

Seems to me multiculturalism, to have any validity at all, should be a two-way street. The host country should accommodate and welcome newcomers IF -- and only if -- the newcomers also make attempts to integrate and accept that not everything will be the same as in the country and society they left.

If immigrants cannot get onside with the concepts of integrating into our society and adopting our core values as their own, I would say there is no place for them here.

Multiculturalism: a failed experiment?

Let's start with the provocative quote: two paragraphs from "When multiculturalism doesn't work", a long but worthwhile article by Ingrid Peritz and Joe Friesen, in today's Globe and Mail.

As the first generation of Canadians raised under the banner of multiculturalism graduates to positions of power, fissures are emerging in the Canadian mosaic. The proposed law to ban niqabs for those seeking public services in Quebec, the controversy surrounding the so-called honour killing of Muslim teenager Aqsa Parvez, the backlash against Tamil asylum seekers, the arrest of a Canadian-born doctor and Canadian Idol contestant in an alleged Islamist terror plot – all of these raise questions about Canada's nurturing of cultural difference. Even one of Canada's most prominent visible-minority politicians, Ujjal Dosanjh, accuses multiculturalism of allowing Sikh extremism to take root here.

[All of these stories have been mentioned in Walt's blog. Use the search feature to find my comments.]

Our European allies call multiculturalism a failed experiment. Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and even our Commonwealth cousin Australia have all, to differing degrees, blamed multiculturalism for separating peoples, weakening national cohesion and encouraging Islamic extremism.

Now some observations. Niqabs, hijabs and honour killings have get a lot of press, but there are other serious problems with multiculturalism as found in Canada and (to a lesser degree) the USA.

Item: Most Chinese immigrants hang onto their Chinese or Hong Kong passports. (According to Chinese law, dual citizenship is not allowed, but Chinese law is, shall we say, less than uniformly applied. Westerners dealing with China and the Chinese had better learn at least one word -- guanxi.)

Item: Recent arrivals from non-European countries show a distinct lack of enthusiasm for learning English (or French). And why should they? Everything from ATMs to the police to automated answering machines serve them in their own languages. Cities like Toronto have become modern-day Babels. There are parts of the Greater Toronto Area where an English-speaker can't even read the signs. But at least a linguist can figure out which ghetto he's in.

Item: Speaking of ghettos, ethno-racial segregation is now commonplace. Most North American cities have long had their Chinatowns, Greektowns and Little Italies. But now we have Little Indias being further subdivided into the Tamil village, the Punjabi quarter (hello Sikhdale!) and the commercial section where everyone's name is Patel.

Item: Speaking of the Indian communities (note the plural), let's not ignore "ethnic protection", now becoming evident in such sectors as trucking and transport, which are largely controlled by Punjabi gangs.

Item: Politicians of cities with large "minority" populations have long known the benefits of ethnic segregation. How can a "McCarthy" get elected in an Italian neighbourhood? (Answer: probably better than a "Smythe-Jones".) Would a "Khan" ever be elected in a Sikh ghetto? (Answer: he'd have a Chinaman's chance!)

Item: Segregation continues even in death. A large part of Calgary's Queen's Park Cemetery is now a "Chinese [only] Section". And Toronto has its own Chinese cemeteries. Which just goes to prove that segregation by race, ethnicity, even religion is voluntary.

Since the beginning, we've had separate cemeteries for Catholics and non-Catholics, and separate school systems too in some places. So what? It seems to me the natural human condition to want to be with people who are "like us", even in death. Multiculturalism, especially when enforced, goes against our natural human "hard wiring".

Conclusion:
Multiculturalism is not a recipe for long-term socio-political stability. It is an experiment in social engineering whose all too apparent failure is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.

If the USA and Canada are not to be still further fragmented, our diverse peoples increasingly alienated from one another, we must discard the multicultural model imposed on us by the liberal elites. It's time to revisit the old concept of the melting pot, where people try to become unhyphenated Americans and Canadians.

As for immigration -- now that debate on the subject seems to have been initiated -- let's close the doors to all but those who are ready, willing and able to fit into our society, rather than expecting us to reshape our society to accomodate them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fluctuations

Walt enjoyed a little story sent by Agent 3.

I was at my bank today, 3 writes. There was a short queue, just one lady in front of me, an Asian lady who was trying to exchange Chinese yuan for dollars.

It was obvious she was a little irritated. She asked the teller, "Why it change? Yesterday, I get one hunat fiffy dolla fo towson yen. Today I only get hunat foty! Why it change?"

The teller shrugged his shoulders and said, "Fluctuations."
The Asian lady replied, "Fluc you white people too."