Sunday, April 29, 2012

3 more NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan

Just over 24 hours ago, Walt wrote "Let's quit while we're behind", advocating (like Ron Paul) the immediate withdrawal of NATO forces from the Afghan sandpit.

That's the same advice given by Senator George Aiken to LBJ while the Vietnam war was raging. But no American president has ever listened to pleas to stop waging war.

Now, NATO says separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan's south and east have killed two of its service members, while a third died of non-battle injuries in the south. All of this happened yesterday, around the same time as Walt's post.

No details -- such as the nationalities of the soldiers -- have been made available by the US-led military. So far this month -- this month alone -- 40 coalition members have died in Afghanistan, bringing the toll for the first four months of 2012 to 131. How many more must die before we do the sensible thing and get out?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Rape" cases rock Zimbabwe courts... with laughter

Sleazy CZ, my Zimbo buddy, forwards accounts of two cases from the Harare magistrates courts. State prosecutor Tinashe Kanyemba had a bad day yesterday, trying to get convictions on two (separate) charges of rape, brought in typically Zimbabwean circumstances.

In the first case, a nurse aide at Parirenyatwa Hospital was caught with her panties down, having sexual intercourse inside the hospital's morgue. [Cool! Ed.] No, she wasn't doing a stiff. Rather it was the stiffy of a mortuary attendant, who she accused of raping her after being caught in the act by a co-worker.

Harare magistrate Memory Chigwaza* acquitted the accused, finding that the sex act was consensual. "The complainant did not alert [the co-worker] about the sexual act," said the magistrate. "Instead, she combed her hair and arranged her clothing. It would appear the complainant consented to sexual intercourse and after she had been caught red-handed having sexual intercourse in the mortuary. This may have caused her to report rape out of shame as she was married, pregnant and with a child."

The magistrate wondered why the complainant did not scream to alert people, especially considering all this was happening in a hospital. The girl had testified that had she screamed no one would have come to her rescue as people would assume someone’s relative had died. But the magistrate found that "a cry for help for someone in danger is different from a cry for a deceased relative."

Since the complainant did not scream, the court believed the woman willingly got into the mortuary to have sexual intercourse. "If she had been raped, there was no reason for her to agree for compensation in order for her not to report to police. There was nothing for her to negotiate with a rapist."

The afternoon trial didn't go any better for Mr. Kanyemba. Here again, the complainant was caught with her panties down -- in her hands, actually -- at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield. A man masquerading as a cop was also found naked from the waist down when real cops arrived on the scene.

The prosecutor told the court the accused had stalked the woman after she had parted ways with her boyfriend following a sexual encounter somewhere in the Mukuvisi woodlands. As the woman neared her home, the accused approached her, saying she was under arrest for having sexual intercourse at Mukuvisi.

He then allegedly ordered the woman to come with him to Machipisa Police Station. On the way, they passed through Zimbabwe Grounds, where the accused requested the woman to have sex with him, so as to be released without a charge.

But the woman refused, so -- she said -- the accused forced her to do the deed. Skepticism was accompanied by not a little laughter, however, when the complainant said she did not scream during the rape as she had already done so during sex with her boyfriend.

During the incident, the court heard, patrolling uniformed police passed by and allegedly caught the couple in flagrante. In his defence, the accused explained, "I asked if I could have sexual intercourse with her for a short time for a fee and she agreed. She asked where we would do it because she had a boyfriend and was afraid they would separate if he found out.

"She asked if I had a condom and I said yes. I wore a condom and she removed her underwear and we had sexual intercourse," he said. Unfortunately, he added, the police arrived before he had settled the bill, and the woman turned against him when the police threatened to detain both of them for loitering. The trial continues next week.

* Zimbabweans have an interesting assortment of given names. Walt has a collection of over 5000. Latest addition: "Luscious Chitsinde", a "chief" (local headman) in Mashonaland.

Let's quit while we're behind

Item: Earlier today, in eastern Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed 10 members of the local police, while they were travelling home from a ceremony.

Item: Also today, in southern Afghanistan, two Taliban militants hiding small guns in their shoes [not turbans? Ed.] slipped into a provincial governor's compound, setting off a fierce gun battle that left two security guards and both attackers dead.

Item: As reported here earlier this week, Prime Minister Harpoon says if Canada is asked by the USA to extend its hopeless "mission" in Afghanistan beyond 2014, he will "consider all the options".

Suggestion, from Walt to Messers Obama, Harper et al. Isn't it about time to declare victory in Afghanistan and get the hell out?

Precedent: When the undeclared Vietnam War was at its height, with the US military spinning its wheels, all the while piling up American as well as Vietnamese corpses, Lyndon Johnson called an old Senate colleague, George Aiken. The prez asked his friend, who had been in the Senate since 1941, what he should do about Vietnam. Senator Aiken's advice? Claim victory and get out. Did Mr. Johnson listen? Noooooo...

Congressman Ron Paul, among others, have given the same advice to Al O'Bama. Enough already! Let's quit while we're behind!

Bombs started to fall on Kabul eleven years ago, the announced objective being to oust the Taliban. Well, as noted above, the Taliban are still there. When they get pushed out of one area, they retreat into another, or cross into Pakistan, or melt into their Afghan community.

Meanwhile, the Americans, Aussies, Kiwis and even Canucks fight on to support the Karzai government, which is not only thoroughly corrupt, but also irrelevant beyond the outskirts of Kabul. In the provinces, warlords again run the show. And Afghanistan's neighbours -- Pakistan, India and Iran -- have their own agendas, which NATO members can't begin to understand, let alone affect.

The Prez keeps saying US troops will be drawn down swiftly in 2013 and gone by 2014. Should Americans believe him? Last weekend, Washington and Kabul drafted an agreement that would see the USA supporting the Afghan government for a decade after combat forces leave. That would stretch the U.S. commitment from 2001 to 2024.

The mission after 2014 period will be to building democratic institutions and develop Afghanistan's economy, once all the opium poppies are killed. The estimated cost is $4 billion... per year! The US would put about $2.7 billion of taxpayers money on the Persian carpet, while the begging bowl will be passed around at the NATO heads of government meeting in Chicago in three weeks, to collect the remaining $1.3 billion.

But no matter how much money we pore down the Afghan rathole, once our forces leave, Afghanistan is almost certain to enter a period of fracture marked by political instability and ethnic conflict. Some would say, in light of events such as today's, that a civil war has already started.

So what we're doing is throwing good money -- not to mention precious western lives -- after bad. No matter what we do, Afghanistan's future will be shaped by domestic forces and pressure from nearby nations over which NATO will have little or no control.

Afghanistan has seen outside powers -- Persia, Britain, Russia, now America -- come... and go. Yet Afghanistan hasn't changed. Nor will it. The American war against Afghanistan -- let's not kid ourselves that NATO would be there if it wasn't for America's pushing -- has unclear goals (now that Bin Laden is dead) and only two chances of success: slim and none. Time to go.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Divorcing lesbians ordered to share frozen sperm

Bizarre -- but predictable enough -- story today from Canada's lala-land, British Columbia. According to Canadian Press, a "relationship breakdown" led to a court battle between two ladies who wear sensible shoes. The big question? Who gets the sperm they bought together from a US sperm bank. [Does the Mann Act come into this? Ed.]

The odd couple started a family using the sperm, possibly with the aid of a turkey baster. Now that they're splitting up, one refused the other's request to use the remaining spermcicles to start a new fatherless family with her new, err, partner.

Justice Loryl Russell said in her ruling that the central question was whether sperm is property. She noted that everyone -- both women and the sperm bank -- had treated the sperm as a commodity to be used for their benefit (and, in the case of the bank, profit). And she found case law -- a decision by Justice Solomon perhaps -- to support dividing it just like any other disputed item from a collapsed partnership. So ordered.

Walt wonders if anyone else thinks that the whole issue (no pun intended) is not a bit... how shall we say... unnatural. What happened to old method of one man planting his seed in one woman to produce a child which would then have two parents... one male and one female. See Genesis 1:27.

Miami archbishop says religious freedom under assault in USA

"America's 'first freedom', the freedom of religion, is under great stress if not under outright assault — and not just for Catholics." So says Very Rev. Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, writing in the Fort Lauderdale SunSentinel.

The cause of the stress? "...a reductive secularism that has more in common with the French Revolution than with America's founding." Citing recent attacks on religious liberty, Abp. Wenski calls the HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs "even more ominous".

"The Church cannot not oppose this unjust (and we believe unconstitutional) mandate," he writes. "It is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs."

Click here to read Abp. Wenski's article in its entirety.

The Church in China -- persecuted but still growing

First the good news. In spite of constant discouragement -- putting it mildly -- from China's Communist government and state-controlled media, Chinese are converting to the Catholic Faith in record numbers. According to the Vatican Information Service, over 22,000 new Christians -- almost three-quarters of them adults -- were baptized on Easter Sunday. However some dioceses had not yet reported their baptisms, so that figure is likely to rise.

The report includes 3,500 baptisms in the Diocese of Hong Kong, continuing a remarkable record of evangelization that has stretched across the years, even after the former British colony was handed over to the Communists in 1997. Hong Kong claims about half a million Catholics, including nearly 140,000 non-Chinese. So the adult converts received into the Church at Easter amounted to roughly 1% of the current Chinese Catholic population. An equivalent success for, let's say... Boston... would require nearly 13,000 new adult converts. Good luck with that!

The figures for Easter baptisms are particularly impressive because not all Chinese dioceses gear their programs toward baptisms at the Easter Vigil. In Shanghai, for example, the Easter report showed 379 baptisms, but diocesan officials expect a total figure of 1,500 for the year.

The picture of the state of the Church in China is murky, however, because of the ongoing persecution of the "underground Church" -- the bishops, priests and faithful who owe allegiance to the Holy See -- by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the schismatic "church" established by the Communists shortly after they seized power in 1949.

This week, a special papal commission urged Chinese Catholics to resist the efforts of the CPCA to control the Church in China. A statement released April 26th expressed sympathy for the Chinese bishops and priests who are under pressure. The statement noted the “particular difficulties” of pastors who feel that they must cooperate to some degree with the regime in order to preserve their ability to preach the Gospel.

Here again, that's putting it mildly. Priests and even bishops continue to be harassed, arrested, detained in "hospitals", jailed, and subjected to "re-education" sessions for months on end. Masses are held secretly in "house churches" because the CPCA controls the church buildings. Religious activities such as pilgrimages are forbidden, with worshippers turned away from shrines and holy places by baton-wielding police.

The commission put it a little more diplomatically. Its statement expressed admiration for bishops and priests who "are detained or who are suffering unjust limitations on the performance of their mission." Admiration was expressed for the strength of their faith and for their union with the Holy Father.

The report called upon all Catholics to pray for these persecuted clerics. Dear Catholic friends, please pray for all Chinese Catholics, including the laity, whom the papal commission asks:
"…to take part in civic life and in the world of work, offering their own contribution with full responsibility: by loving life and respecting it from conception until natural death; by loving the family, promoting values which are also proper to traditional Chinese culture; by loving their country as honest citizens concerned for the common good. As an ancient Chinese sage put it, 'the way of great learning consists in illustrating noble virtues, in renewing and staying close to people, and in reaching the supreme good.'"

Footnote: For a recent example of the CPCA's efforts to dominate the Church in China, see "Patriotic Association takes control at ordination of Chinese bishop".

Note from Ed. about the Vatican Information Service website: The first two links in this post take you to the VIS website, which seems to take a long time to load using IE8. Don't push it, e.g. by maximizing the window; just give it time to load and ye shall see.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wildrose wilts: a cautionary tale for conservatives - Part II

In "Wildrose wilts: a cautionary tale for conservatives - Part I" we saw how Alison Redford's GOP (Great Oxymoronical Party) -- otherwise known as Progressive Conservatives -- defeated the Even More Conservatives -- otherwise known as the Wildrose Party -- in spite of its leader's obvious charms. Now Walt will tell you why.

As nearly as I could see from my vantage point up the road from Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, two factors led to the defeat of Wildrose and the perpetuation of the Alberta Tory dynasty. The inevitable Mitt will have to keep both in mind if he is to have any hope at all of defeating Hussein come November.

First, the bozo factor. 130 years ago, W.S. Gilbert wrote:
When in that House [of Commons] MPs divide,
If they've a brain and cerebellum, too,
They've got to leave that brain outside,
And vote just as their leaders tell `em to.

Canadian politicians, when they accept a party's nomination, are expected to free themselves entirely of independent thought, toe the party line and stay totally "on message", lest their personal beliefs, if made public, scare the citizenry. Gilbert, again:
But then the prospect of a lot
Of dull MPs in close proximity,
All thinking for themselves, is what
No man can face with equanimity.

Unfortunately, as Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have found out at various times, it's hard to get an assortment of libertarians, gun nuts, conspiracy theorists and gold standard-bearers to march in close order. So it was with the Wildrose Party, whose candidates included more than one who could be described as teetering on the brink of extremism.

One Wildrose MLA wannabe said he had no doubt that since Indians and other minorities tend to vote for their own, he had an advantage, being Caucasian. That would be true only if white folks voted en bloc, but they don't. Anyway, it's not the kind of thing you say in public.

Another Wildroser, an evangelical Protestant pastor, said homosexuals were going to hell -- all of them -- for violating God's law if not the state's. Again, everyone is entitled to his opinion, but speaking your mind doesn't help you get elected. A Wildrose insider called that little remark "a Bozo moment".

The other factor to be kept in sight at all times is the economic factor. It may be OK to have social Bozos in office [When are you going to run? Ed.] but in uncertain economic times, it won't do to have your province or state or country governed by economic and financial Bozos.

The Wildrose party suffered from a serious deficit of governmental experience. What with the ongoing oil sands and Keystone XL pipeline controversies, and serious negotiations with the federal government on the horizon, Albertans found themselves unable to hand the reins of power over to a bunch of right-wing loonies who just fell off the turnip truck. Wildrose may have had support amongst the "real people", but it didn't have big business -- particularly oil and the banks -- on its side.

What lessons do we learn from this? First, economic issues trump social issues every time. This is true for Canadians, at least, and Walt believes that Americans too will vote with their pocketbooks in November. If Romney can maintain his image as a sound and successful business manager who can turn the economy around, he may yet have a shot. Picking a running mate cut from the same cloth -- perhaps Senator Rob Portman -- would help.

Secondly, while people with strong views may be noisy and visible, they are outnumbered by a large majority of quiet voters who tend to congregate in the middle of the political spectrum, even on social issues. For every vocal pro-lifer and pro-abortionist, there are three or four people who think abortion might be OK, in some circumstances. And there are another two who simply don't care, either way. Do the math.

Let me put this one another way. Extreme views, publicly expressed, don't get you votes. This is the lesson Ron Paul -- God love him -- can't learn because his principles won't let him. If you speak out strongly on something you believe in -- like isolationism or abolishing the Fed -- which the majority finds outlandish or extreme -- you will lose.

Which brings us back to Canada and its Prime Minister, "Call me Steve" Harper, the arch-control freak. Mr. Harper is an evangelical Protestant, but he keeps quiet about it. He is accused by the Gliberals and Kneedippers of having a "hidden agenda", but they can never make the charge stick precisely because Harper is so close-mouthed about his intentions.

So, if Romney can continue to talk as little as possible about policy and his precise plans for the future of America, he won't get boxed into an extreme position or (even) accused of flip-flopping. Let him learn from Mr. Harpoon, who, when asked yesterday if Canada would commit to keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2014 (yes, they're still there!) said, "We will examine all options and we will take the decision that is in the best interests of this country...and not an ideological knee-jerk response." Hey, it worked for Reagan!

But... if any prominent Republicans go off the deep end, or if Romney chooses a loose cannon for a running mate, he's doomed. The HBO docudrama "Game Change" features a line from a member of John McCain's campaign team, as the reality of Sarah Palin dawns on them: "Oh my god, what have we done?"

Wildrose wilts: a cautionary tale for conservatives - Part I

The Canadian province of North Texas [Alberta, surely! Ed.] elected a new legislature on Monday. The result contains a lesson for American Republicans and Canadian Conservatives (big-C and small-c alike), the lesson being: don't go to extremes.

All you need to know about AB is that it's about as conservative a place as you can find north of the 49th parallel. Like TX, it's cattle country, and under the cattle is oil -- lots of it -- when enterprising multinational oilcos will sell to China if Obama holds up construction of the pipeline which should be shipping it south. The province is awash in oil money which it shares only reluctantly with poorer places like Ontario.

As Walt explained in "Campaign bust raises eyebrows in Alberta", Alberta is staunchly conservative, politically and socially. As of this spring, it had been ruled for 41 years, by a centre-right party oxymoronically called the Progressive Conservatives. This time they chose a new leader, Allison Redford, to front for the usual gang of old white men in conservative suits and white stetsons.

But the PCs were a tired lot, bereft of any ideas except to keep the oil flowing out (see above) and never ever have a provincial sales tax. There was a perceived need for change. Unfortunately the other two traditional parties, the Somewhat Liberal Party and the Not-so-new Democrats, didn't have a Chinaman's chance of electing a handful of MLA's, let alone forming a government.

So was born the Wildrose Party, a gang of even older white men in even more conservative suits and white stetsons -- cowboy boots too. They chose as their frontperson a slightly younger and more attractive white woman, Danielle Smith, whose campaign bus wrap drew attention to her assets until lamestream media cries of sexism forced a redesign.

The Wildrose Party's policies were a mixture of populism and conservatism, well to the right of the governing PCs. They promised to share the oil wealth, at least with the common people of Alberta. ("Prosperity certificates" had been tried during the Great Depression by the Social Government -- read "conservative" -- government of Bible Bill Aberhart, and found unconstitutional, but never mind.) There were also hints of a social conservative agenda on such matters as health care, abortion, "gay rights" etc etc.

In the run-up to the election, the pollsters, pundits and national media were loud in their predictions of a Wildrose landslide, followed by the return of Alberta to the dark ages of Social Credit and the Ku Klux Klan. The liberal Globe and Mail went so far as to endorse the PCs, which should have been the kiss of death since no one outside of Toronto and Ottawa pays any attention to the Glob.

True conservatives and libertarians in Alberta and the rest of Canada were peeing in their pants with excitement at the prospect of being freed from the tyranny of "red Tories" -- liberals in conservative suits. The Wildrosers themselves were starting to plan the "On to Ottawa!" campaign to get rid of the faux conservative Steve Harper and put a real right-winger in 24 Sussex Drive.

But... surprise, surprise... the pollsters and other "experts" got it wrong! The Regressive Convertibles (thank you, Allan Fotheringham) won, in a veritable landslide. Later today Walt will tell you why, and what this means for politics in Canada and the USA.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Liberals keep polishing the turd, says Big Bad Jim

"What liberals can learn from conservatives" -- Margaret Wente's review of Jonathan Heidt's The Righteous Mind (see previous post) drew a lot of comment, both pro and con. [Geddit? Ed.] Walt liked a screed by a poster calling himself Big Bad Jim.

I don't know if liberals are capable of learning in the accepted sense. So many of their policies have clearly failed, but they keep polishing the turd, pushing self-destructive polices, and seperating actions and consequences in a way that goes from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Here is my scholarly theory. Liberals live in a bubble. Most of them live in concrete urban jungles where friendly policemen guard them from harm the way a sheep dog guards his flock. They don't grow their own food, most of them don't make anything of value, most work and live in artificial markets and workplaces, and the sum effect of all these influences is 'devolution'. These people are reverting back to savage, tool-using super-apes.

Consider your affluent rich Tranna Libs. [Those are the ones I call "Volvo liberals". Walt] They would be dead meat in any rural or productive society. They are unpopular, socially incompetent, and divisive. They are not the kind of people you want to make friends with or help out because they will not do the same for you. In any society that does not nanny stupid people -- as ours does -- Darwin would take them out.

In the liberal slums, drugs and gang activity are going through the roof. The only people that do well in those environments are the fittest and strongest. As drugs and illegitimacy and illiteracy ravage their families and communities, they become ever more dehumanized by crime and violence and start to resemble our feral ape-like evolutionary predecessors.

It is pretty much apparent to anyone that doesn't live in a leftist stupidity chamber that the great Liberal Social Experiment has failed. And now -- it's time to clean up the mess.

Is your mind righteous?

Regular readers of WW's World will know that Walt is a regular reader of Margaret Wente's column in the Globe and Mail. Ms Wente was born in Chicago, but now makes her home in "an affluent downtown Toronto postal code". She looks with a jaundiced eye [perhaps TWO such eyes. Ed.] on her neighbours, whom she regards as what I call "Volvo liberals".

Today, Ms Wente has another "label for these people. They are WEIRD. That is, they belong to a tiny subculture of the human population that is Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. They are the secular liberal baby boomers who dominate the opinion elite."

She says this in the context of a review of The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt. According to the author's website, the book is about one of the hottest topics in the sciences — morality. It’s about how we evolved to live in moral “matrices,” which bind us together around sacred values and then blind us to the truth. It’s about righteousness, moral diversity, politics and religion.

According to Margaret Wente's review, Mr Haidt is talking about the WEIRD culture of which he is an admitted member. She sees The Righteous Mind as a must-read for anyone who’s dumbfounded that Steve Harpoon got elected prime minister of Canada. Or that anyone could oppose the re-election of Al O'Bama.

Or that the voters of Alberta are about to elect a party "full of bigots and climate-change deniers". (More on this, and why it should matter to Americans, next week. For now... lifetime pct .983.)

Mr. Haidt argues that conservatives and liberals operate with two quite different moral systems. Liberals are almost exclusively concerned with harm and fairness. They see society as composed of autonomous individuals who should be free to satisfy their wants and needs as they see fit.

Conservatives have a wider moral palate. They are also concerned with loyalty, authority and sanctity – values that are deeply rooted in human nature and all societies throughout history. They see society as composed of people in relation to community, who have a set of roles, responsibilities and obligations to God and their neighbours. They believe there is much more to the moral domain than harm and fairness.

Haidt's thesis is that conservative politicians on the right have a built-in advantage, because they understand human nature better than liberals do. Most people’s moral frameworks are far broader – and far less rational and systematic – than liberals believe, says Ms Wente. Nonetheless, liberal psychologists (and politicians) have spent most of the past 40 years trying to explain why conservatives are so misguided. Why don’t they embrace equality, diversity and change, like normal people? Obviously, they’re repressed and afraid of difference.

Mr. Haidt believes that as long as liberals continue to pathologize conservatism, they’re doomed. Instead, they need to understand why the reaction of many ordinary people to the issues in the news is so different from their own. The simple answer is that these people are less concerned with individual rights and universal justice than they are with things such as loyalty, authority and people getting what they deserve, not what their ethnicity or sexual orientation "entitle" them to.

Ms Wente uses the example of the Harper government’s tough crime-and-punishment agenda -- the policies that drive Canadian liberals craziest.

To liberals, [the government's] law-and-order agenda is nothing more than base pandering to an ignorant electorate. But many Canadians have a sharply different view. They don’t care that crime stats are at record lows, or that mandatory minimum sentences don’t work.

What they care about is the Vancouver bus driver who was off work for more than a year after a young thug bashed his face in. The thug got 18 months to be served at a rehab residence. They care about the stupidly light sentence imposed on Graham James for sexually abusing teenage hockey players and about shopkeepers who get charged by the police for trying to protect themselves from thieves.

They think these things are profoundly wrong. And despite the enlightened views of liberals, an alarming number of them continue to support the death penalty.

Perhaps if these Canadians were better educated they wouldn’t think this way. Or perhaps, if liberals were better educated in moral psychology, they’d be able to understand why conservative policies are so appealing. My advice is to begin by listening to Jonathan Haidt.

Walt can hardly wait to read The Righteous Mind, and will pick up a copy at the Library of Congress next week*, if the librarian isn't looking.

* Indeed, Walt will be in the capital city of the Excited States of America from now until Wednesday. Why??? Visit WW's World on Thursday and all will be revealed. Or maybe not.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

US bishop rips Obama, calls for "heroic Catholicism"

Daniel Jenky, Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria IL, told 500 men who attended the diocese’s annual men’s march and Mass that "the days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism."

Noting that "the world, the flesh, and the devil will always love their own, and will always hate us," Bishop Jenky went on to say: "We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead [must] be Catholics by conviction. In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work ... we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation."

You can read the full text of Bishop Jenky's homily here. He mentioned President Obama three times. "In clear violation of our First Amendment rights," said the bishop, "Barack Obama with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda now seems intent on following a similar path" as other governments throughout history who "have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches."

Will the anti-Christian president -- and the cafeteria Catholics like Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi who only follow the Faith if it doesn't cost them votes -- prevail against the Church of God? Bishop Jenky thinks not.

The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire. The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism. And in the power of the Resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.

The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate. May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.

As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith.

To which Walt can only add "Amen."

SSPX reply to Rome -- start of a sell-out?

The number of people who know what's really going on at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church is very small. One such is Andrea Tornielli, a "Vaticanista" whose conclusions and predictions are accurate almost as often as Walt's. (Lifetime pct .983)

In yesterday's Vatican Insider, Signor Tornielli opines that the "positive response" of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to the "doctrinal preamble" presented to them by the Holy See last September could form the basis for reconciliation between the traditionalist group and the mainstream Church.

The response, which Tornielli says has only a few minor alterations to the most recent version of the document, will be reviewed by the Ecclesia Dei commission, which is responsible for relations between the Vatican and traditional Catholics, as well as by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. If they find no fault in it, the document will be forwarded to Pope Benedict XVI for a final decision which would presumably result in the lifting of the purported suspensions of the Society's bishops.

But here's the problem. Of the four SSPX bishops, only one -- Bishop Bernard Fellay -- appears fully committed to the reconciliation. The other three -- Tissier de Mallerais, Galarreta, and Williamson -- are opposed to what they see as a sell-out. So are at least 25% of their faithful followers, according to the Italian daily La Stampa.

Both the Vatican and the SSPX are on record as saying Bishop Fellay’s response does not resolve all remaining disagreements between the two sides. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, warned reported that "we cannot conclude that a positive outcome has been reached quite yet."

The SSPX issued a statement saying that the latest development in a 3-year series of negotiations must be seen as "a stage and not a conclusion". However, Tornielli and others sympathetic to the SSPX are optimistic about the prospects for resolving the split between the Society and the Holy See.

Signor Tornielli sees it as likely that the Society will be awarded the status of "personal prelature" a new juridical role added to the Canon Law in 1983 and so far adopted only by Opus Dei. Bishop Fellay doubtless sees himself as the first prelate, answerable only to the Holy See.

Will the other three, especially Bishop Williamson, kiss Fellay's ring? Don't be surprised if some or all of them separate from the separated! (Lifetime .pct still .983.)

See also "The Lefebvrians' answer to the Vatican". "Vatican, SSPX reported ready to reconcile", from Catholic World News, has a useful summary of the history and background to the conflict.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Fucking good name", say Austrians

Sorry to spoil the fun, but the proper German pronunciation of "Fucking" -- a village in Austria -- rhymes with "booking". Today, Franz Meindl, the Fucking mayor, has again denied reports that the good burgers (look it up) of his village were agitating for a name change.

Despite having a population of only 104, the village has become famous for its name in the English-speaking world. Its road signs are a popular visitor attraction, and were often stolen by souvenir-hunting tourists until 2005, when they were modified to be theft-resistant. If you want to have a try anyway, go north from Salzburg for about 21 miles, and you'll find the Fucking sign about 2.5 miles east of the German boarder. ["Border", surely! Ed.]

Burgermeister Franz Meindl dismissed news reports that residents were pushing to change the name to something less controversial. "I don't know where you're getting the idea that we want to change the Fucking name," the annoyed-sounding mayor told Reuters today. "A couple of years ago some people suggested alternate spellings like 'Fuking' or 'Fugging'. An Irishman suggested 'Fooking', the way it should be said. But nothing came of it."

It is believed that the settlement was founded in the 6th century by a Bavarian nobleman named Focko. The existence of the village was documented for the first time in 1070 and historical records show that some twenty years later the lord was Adalpert von Vukkingen. The spelling of the name has evolved over the years, having been spelled Fukching in 1303 and Fugkhing in 1532. The modern Fucking spelling dates from the 18th century.

Winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan

The Los Angeles Times must be on the side of the Taliban! Why else would they publish pictures like this?

White House spokesthingy Jay Carney says the conduct does not represent the standards of the US military. Mr. Carney couldn't say if President O'bama had seen the pix, since he doesn't read newspapers all that much, but if he did, he would surely believe the situation needs to be investigated and those responsible should be held accountable. Just like that guy that killed all those villagers. Where is he now?

NATO's top commander in Armpitistan said he couldn't agree more, adding "Just as soon as we can figure out who those guys are, we'll bring `em back to the USA. Not the ones with the funny caps though. They're Afghans."

Since allegedly ending their combat role in the sandpit last summer, the Canadian Armed Forces have assumed responsibility for the "training" of the so-called Afghan National Army and police. Obviously they have not yet covered the module on how to stay out of embarrassing photos.

Click here for more of the Times' pix of heroioc Americans in action.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Muslims on the march in Britain -- scary stuff!

In "Islamization of Ontario schools still part of government agenda" I mentioned a video, recently forwarded by Agent 6, showing Muslim fanatics marching through the streets of Luton, England. Their message: British police should go to hell! So should all "non-believers", meaning not Christians, Jews and... well... everyone except devout Muslims.

Ed. has located the file, so here it is. Turn the sound down if the voice of a shrill female with a horrible accent bothers you, but do have a good look and listen closely to the faces and voices of "the Muslim community" in a typical British city today.

So, gentle reader, how is it in your city? Still think we should all be tolerant and make nice with our newly-arrived Muslim neighbours?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Islamization of Ontario schools still part of government agenda

What moved Agent 17 to send me the article on the perils of remaining silent in the face of Islamic fundamentalism? As a former resident of the Greater Toronto Area [Just one of many who have fled the capital of multiculturalism! Ed.], Agent 17 was concerned by reports that Islamic prayers have been introduced in Ottawa, Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, while the Lord's Prayer has been removed.

Well might he be concerned. No...alarmed! In Canada and the USA, the Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being, but the fanatics are starting to march. In Britain they are already marching...literally. We received [but Ed. has misfiled!] a video showing British Muslims marching through the streets of Luton calling for the police and other non-believers to die and go to hell!

Now the poison of Islamic fundamentalism is spreading through the ghetto of the GTA and other North American cities. Yet we remain silent.

However, this is not exactly new news. Agent 17 asks Walt if the reports he's reading are true. They are, and Walt wrote about the issue last summer. See
"Update on Islamization of Toronto schools"
"Muslim prayers in Toronto schools: a Muslim viewpoint"
"Islam, imams and the Canadian Charter of Rights"
"'Go back to the hellhole you came from', sez Canadian Muslim prof"

Now the 2011-12 school year is closer to the end than the beginning. In spite of a few tepid protests -- denounced by the usual suspects as "racist" and "Islamophobic" -- the imams are still coming into the so-called public schools to preach Allah-knows-what. The Ontario government is still pushing "Gay-straight alliances" and perverted sex education. And respect for diversity and "minority rights", of course. Yet we remain silent.

How can we be silent in the face of Islamization of our country?

Martin Niemöller was a Protestant pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. He was an anti-Communist and, frightened by the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, at first supported Hitler's rise to power. But when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned, and led a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler.

In 1937, Niemöller was arrested and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. His crime was "not being enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement". You have probably seen a version of his famous statement, "First they came...", frequently quoted as a warning about the dangers of political apathy. Here's one version...

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Catholic
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me.

Walt was reminded of this by an article sent to me by Agent 17. It begins with a quote from an (apparently fictional) German psychiatrist, a survivor of World War II, who was asked how many German people were true Nazis. His answer should guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

"Very few people were true Nazis," he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, like the majority, I just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world as we knew it had come

Compare this with the Islamization of Europe and North America which is being perpetrated by Muslim extremists right now, while we, the silent majority of Western "Christians" -- like the three wise monkeys -- see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing.

We are told again and again by "experts" and the talking heads of the lamestream media that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. This may be true, but so what? It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.

It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The fact is that the peaceful majority of Muslims is a silent majority -- cowed and extraneous to the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic fundamentalists. The Soviet Union was populated by millions of Russians (and other nationalities) who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Soviet Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

The majority of China's 1.3 billion (and counting) people are peaceful too, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians -- most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget the more recent example of Rwanda, which collapsed into tribal butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace-loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because -- like Pastor Niemöller -- they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the world as they knew it is at an end.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us Westerners, we must pay attention to the only group that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life. We may be witnessing the beginning of the end, not just of their world, but of our own!

Footnote: The Afghan Taliban today launched a major spring offensive, with multiple attacks against Western embassies in the central diplomatic area and parliament in Kabul. Explosions, rockets and gunfire are rattling the city even as I write, and scores of casulaties are reported.

Friday, April 13, 2012

SSPX v. the "mainstream" Church: a theologian's questions

The Society of Saint Pius X, established by the late Abp. Lefebvre+, is expected to respond soon to what the noted Vatican analyst Sandro Magister calls "the last call from Rome to [return to] the sheepfold".

Seven months ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the body we used to call "the Holy Office" -- delivered to the SSPX a "doctrinal preamble" as the "fundamental basis for the attainment of full reconciliation". The SSPX found that in good conscience and faith, it could accept only part of this preamble. The CDF said that was "not sufficient" to heal the "fracture". The Vatican's way or the highway to schism!

However, Rome didn't close the door tightly. On March 16th, the CDF offered the SSPX the possibility of another response, which is the one that is expected any day now.

But what exactly is the doctrinal cause of the division between the traditionalists -- the SSPX -- and the so-called "mainstream Church"? And why is there a fracture between Rome and the Lefebvrists over their rejection of some of the teachings of Vatican Council II, while at the same time other Catholic currents of the opposite nature continue to inhabit the Church undisturbed, in spite of the fact that they too reject essential teachings of the same Council?

These are the two questions at the heart of an analysis written expressly for Sandro Magister's website, Chiesa, by John R. T. Lamont.

Dr. Lamont received a degree in philosophy from Oxford and in theology in Ottawa with the great Dominican theologian Jean-Marie Tillard. He now lives in Australia and teaches at the Catholic Institute and at the University of Notre Dame, with the canonical mandate of the Archdiocese of Sydney for the teaching of theology.

His article looks at the controversy from a new point of view -- not unsympathetic to the Society, but on the contrary, too understanding of its arguments. Here are some excerpts.

He refers first to a list, written by the SSPX's Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize. of the elements of Vatican II that the Society finds unacceptable.

"On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium, so that it is impossible to interpret them in keeping with the other teachings already contained in the earlier documents of the Church’s Magisterium. Vatican II has thus broken the unity of the Magisterium, to the same extent to which it has broken the unity of its object.

"These four points are as follows.

"The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration 'Dignitatis humanae,' contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in 'Mirari vos' and of Pius IX in 'Quanta cura' as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in 'Immortale Dei' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Quas primas.'

"The doctrine on the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in 'Mystici corporis' and 'Humani generis.'

"The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 of 'Lumen gentium' and no. 3 of the Decree 'Unitatis redintegratio,' contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the 'Syllabus,' those of Leo XIII in 'Satis cognitum,' and those of Pope Pius XI in 'Mortalium animos.'

"The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution 'Lumen gentium,' including no. 3 of the 'Nota praevia' [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution 'Pastor aeternus'."

Fr. Gleize participated in the doctrinal discussions between the FSSPX and the Roman authorities.... We may reasonably take his statement as a description of the doctrinal points upon which the [Society] will not compromise, and that are taken by the Holy See to inevitably give rise to a rift.

The points mentioned by Fr. Gleize are only four of the voluminous teachings of Vatican II. The SSPX does not reject Vatican II in its entirety: on the contrary, Bishop Fellay has stated that the society accepts 95% of its teachings. This means that the SSPX is more loyal to the teachings of Vatican II than much of the clergy and hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

The first question that the communiqué of the Holy See raises for a theologian is thus: why does the rejection by the FSSPX of a small part of the teachings of Vatican II give rise to a rift between that Society and the Holy See, while the rejection of more numerous and important teachings of Vatican II by other groups in the Church leave these groups in good standing and possessed of full canonical status? Rejection of the authority of Vatican II by the FSSPX cannot be the answer to this question; the FSSPX in fact shows more respect for the authority of Vatican II than most of the religious orders in the Church.

If the rift between the Holy See and the FSSPX does not arise from rejection of the authority of the Second Vatican Council by the Society, it could be the case that the rift arises from the doctrinal position of the FSSPX in itself.... This side of the FSSPX's [argument] consists in positions on the doctrines that Catholics should believe, positions that do not in themselves make claims about the content or authority of Vatican II.

The FSSPX ... does not claim that the teaching of the Catholic Church is false. Instead, it claims that some of the assertions of Vatican II contradict other magisterial teachings that have greater authority, and hence that accepting the doctrines of the Catholic Church requires accepting these more authoritative teachings and rejecting the small proportion of errors in Vatican II. It asserts that the actual teaching of the Catholic Church is to be found in the earlier and more authoritative statements.

This raises the second question concerning the position of the Holy See on the FSSPX that suggests itself to a theologian: how can there be any objection to the FSSPX upholding the truth of magisterial pronouncements of great authority?This question really answers itself. There can be no such objection.

Dr. Lamont gives examples from the texts of Vatican II to support his argument. And he asks three more very good questions. And he gives three very good answers, the last of which is an excellent point on which to close.

The nature of the teaching of the Catholic Church on religious freedom, ecumenism, the Church, and collegiality, is of great importance to all Catholics. The questions raised by the discussions between the Holy See and the FSSPX thus concern the whole Church, not merely the parties to the discussion.

Click here to read Dr. Lamont's article in its entirety on Chiesa. Italian, French and Spanish versions of the article are also available. If you can't find the links, e-mail me and I'll give you the link you're looking for.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Overheard at Leafs' last game

One of Walt's agents -- also a Habs fan -- was lucky (?) enough to score tickets to the last game of the season at le Centre Bell, when les Glorieux defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.

He says he was sitting just behind the Laffs bench, close enough to hear the player on the right say "Those guys in the red, white and blue sweaters sure are swell, eh..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

John Cleese explains European security threat alerts

A rare sighting of Agent 34 who forwarded something of interest to all fans of Monty Python and John Cheese...

by John Cleese (British writer, actor and tall person)

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross".

The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance". The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards". They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army> for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are"Collaborate" and "Surrender". The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing". Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides".

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs". They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, mate". Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled". So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Agent 34 adds this final thought. Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

Zimmerman takes early lead in race for Brass Neck Award

For some time now, Walt has been toying with the idea of instituting a Brass Neck Award, for the person showing the most unmitigated gall, brazen audacity, or nerve of a canal horse in handling a situation from which mere mortals would flee in embarrassment.

Swiping a name or concept from someone else would get you an entry in the contest, but only if you pass it off as your own and stand by that claim even when challenged. Since I'm admitting that I saw the name "Brass Neck Award" in Private Eye, and decided I couldn't improve on it, I don't qualify.

Many politicians spring to mind instantly. Newt Gingrich for instance. But let's try not to think about him. How about Canadian prime minister "Call me Steve" Harper, who last week refused three times to answer a question about whether he had deliberately misled Parliament (and the Canadian people) on the true cost of the ridiculously expensive F-35 fighter jets which Canada proposes to purchase from Lockheed-Martin. Quoth Mr. Harpoon, "No money has actually been spent yet, so there's no problem."

That's pretty bad. But this weekend a humble, ordinary, working-class American came to the front of the pack, by launching a website (of course) portraying himself as the real victim in a killing committed by, errr, himself.

I refer of course, to George Zimmerman, the murderer of Trayvon Martin. The Z-man's website not only gives his side of the story -- "I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life..." -- but also invites readers to use PayPal to give him their financial support. "Any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment,” Mr. Zimmerman explains.

Unlike shooting an unarmed black kid, Mr. Z's latest act took real stones. But let's not rush to judgment. Others have seven-plus months to demonstrate even more unmitigated gall etc etc.

Footnote from Ed.: Readers are invited to use PayPal to support Walt in his worthy endeavours. See panel at right of screen!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Le CH vous dit "À la prochaine"

The Montréal Canadiens have had what can only be described as a dismal season. Just one damn thing after another: injuries, terrible trades, and the firing of two good coaches. Result? Les not-so-Glorieux finished 15th -- dead last -- in the NHL's Eastern Conference. And 28th overall in a league of 30 teams. Dismal.

There's a lesson here for us fans. Not quite two months ago, Walt urged les amateurs de la Flanelle to have faith. Lots of faith! Unfortunately, faith alone seems insufficient, when that faith is in mere mortals. (Hello, Scotty Gomez!) It will take someone with supernatural powers -- as player, coach or both -- to turn le Club de Hockey Canadien around and restore it to its customary winning ways. Let us pray.

Meanwhile, at last night's last game in the Bell Centre, a scoreboard video offered thanks to Habs fans for their patience, and promised a better next season in 2012-13. Walt has been unable to capture and embed the video, but you can see what the fans saw on the Habs website. Walt wishes all Montréal partisans a pleasant summer. See you in September!

"No Country for Old (Catholic) Men"

A friend sent me the link to an e-article with this headline -- "No Country for Old (Catholic) Men" -- with a note saying it appeared to be about me. Naturally intrigued, I immediately checked out the web page only to find that the old Catholic man the writer (R. Cort Kirkwood) is talking about is Pat Buchanan! In fact, the subtitle of the piece is "The Real Reason Pat Buchanan Got Fired from MSNBC".

Although too long to copy and paste here, Mr. Kirkwood's article is well worth reading in its entirety. He writes about MSNBC's firing of Pat Buchanan as a commentator in February, after he published Suicide of a Superpower: Will American Survive to 2025?.

What's wrong with this book? To hear the lamestream media (including MSNBC) tell it, Mr. Buchanan's book -- which expands on an essay he wrote last October (which you can read here), ventures beyond the acceptable bounds of debate. Of course the leftists, liberals and "progressive thinkers" believe in free speech... but only for their opinions, not for those of Pat Buchanan or Walt Whiteman.

Mr. Kirkwood says, as the fact is, that the American left, controlled by anti-Christians, feminists and homosexuals, won’t brook disagreement with its core principles: racial politics and sodomy, fornication and abortion on demand. Disagree with anything the left says, and one is labeled a racist, misogynist or a homophobe. Those are "vices" which Buchanan represents to the left. And that's why MSNBC gave him the boot... with the left foot, of course.Suicide of a Superpower has chapters entitled “The Death of Christian America” and “The End of White America.” According to Buchanan, the demographic dispossession of the white Christian majority will spell the end for the America in which he grew up.

But few on the right have the courage to defend Buchanan on the grounds that he is right. Rather, they argue the abstract principle that his freedom of speech was abridged, pointing out the hypocrisy of the left on free speech. But their argument implicitly suggests that Buchanan’s thesis is wrong. They may believe Buchanan to be right, but they defend only his right to be "wrong".

What American conservatives do not seem to grasp is that the left does not believe one has a right to be "wrong", even in the confines of one's mind. Thus the "progressives" are succeeding in their quest to forbid absolutely not just freedom of speech but freedom of thought. God save the USA!

Footnote: Suicide of a Superpower is available for Kindle too. Tell `em Walt sent ya!

Christ is risen! ALLELUIA!

Truly He is risen! ALLELUIA!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

While they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to his disciples and said: Take ye and eat. This is my body.

And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto the remission of sins.
Gospel of St. Matthew 26:26-28

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happiest people on earth?

You would think that Americans, living in the greatest nation on earth -- if you don't believe that, just ask them -- would be the happiest people on earth. You would be wrong, according to the Earth Institute of Columbia University.

In its first ever "Happiness Report", the Earth Institute says the four happiest countries are all in Northern Europe: Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. The four least happy countries are all poor countries of sub-Saharan Africa: Togo, Benin, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.

Europe happy; Africa unhappy. No surprises so far. But what of North America? Canada ranks 5th on the survey's "Cantril Ladder" (see page 31), and the USA... errr... 11th. And get this! Although the report finds the world has, broadly speaking, become a “little happier” in the past three decades, as living standards have risen, America is an exception. In the United States, life satisfaction has not improved.

All of which proves that wealth alone doesn’t make people happy. (The USA is not the richest country either, but it's well up there.) Other than income, key factors in defining happiness include: political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption. These things, the authors say, are "together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries."

At the individual level, "good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial." What does that last one say about societies where public discourse is dominated by "progressive thinkers" who are actively working against families and family values?

The authors of the "Happiness Report" believe that stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children. Yet our "mainstream" politicians and lamestream media keep telling us that gay marriage, divorce and abortion are not just "human rights", but good for our society. Some cognitive dissonance there, surely!