Thursday, May 31, 2012

Leading Vaticanista details Bertone's role in Vatican scandal

Within the last week, Walt has written two posts concerning the problems... OK, scandals... swirling around the Vatican in general, and the deceitful, corrupt and possibly heretical Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone in particular. See "What the Vatican butler saw" (27/5) and "Bertone... it's Bertone!" (28/5).

Today, Sandro Magister, one of the most knowledgeable and respected Vaticanisti, weighs in with "The Hunt for Thieves in the Vatican". (See below for links to Italian, French and Spanish versions.) Here are a couple of paragraphs to give you an idea of what Signor Magister thinks of the unholy mess, and the part played by "the exuberant cardinal".

"With justice eliminated, what are kingdoms if not a great band of thieves?" The phrase is from Saint Augustine, but it was Benedict XVI who cited it in his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" of 2005. He didn't know that seven years later it would become the public image of the Vatican. A citadel devastated by thievery, with no corner left inviolate, not even that "sancta sanctorum" which the private desk of the pope should be.

The pope theologian of the great homilies, of the book on Jesus, is the same one who reigns over a curia adrift, a den of "egoism, violence, enmity, discord, jealousy," all of the vices he stigmatized in last Sunday's homily for Pentecost and in so much more of his fruitless prior preaching.

It is the same pope who wanted as his secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and continues to keep him at his post, in spite of the fact that he sees more and more evidence of his inadequacy every day.

In 2010, the irrepressible secretary of state, claiming a presumed mandate from Benedict XVI, even intimated to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi in writing that he should leave the presidency of the Toniolo. The archbishop of Milan flew off the handle. And Benedict XVI agreed with the latter, after calling both contenders before him.

Speaking to the cardinals [on May 21st], the pope cited Saint Augustine: "All of history is a battle between two loves: love of self even to disregard of God; love of God even to disregard of self." And he added: "We are in this battle, and in it it is very important to have friends. As concerns me, I am surrounded by my friends of the college of cardinals, I feel safe in their company."

Father Federico Lombardi [said], on May 29: "There are no cardinals among the persons of interest or suspects." Not to inconvenience the police, but not all of the cardinal "friends" are playing on the team as the pope expects.

Signor Magister does not refer to Bertone's machinations in the suppression of the Third Secret of Fatima, mentioned here before. As the layers of the conspiracy are peeled away like so much onion skin, the truth of the Fatima Message will be revealed, as will the diabolical deception of Cardinal Bertone and the other "fallen stars" still in high positions in the Church.

The full text of Sandro Magister's article, in other languages, may be found here:
Italian - Caccia al ladro in Vaticano
French - Chasse aux voleurs au Vatican
Spanish - Caza al ladrón en el Vaticano

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Still more "honour" in Brampton

Not 48 hours after the arrest of Jatinder Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh gentleman residing in Brampton ON, on a charge of murdering his wife, Lakhvir, Peel Regional police have felt the collar of Skinder Singh Punia, another Sikh gentleman residing in Brampton. He is charged with abetting the murder of sister-in-law, Poonam Litt, in February of 2009.

He is alleged to have assisted the murderer of Poonam Litt, namely Mandeep Punia, 35, of Brampton. She is the sister of Ms Litt’s husband, who conveniently was in India at the time of his wife’s sudden death. His father, Kulwant Singh Litt, 63, also of Brampton, has also been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Sounds like the Punjabi version of All in the Family, doesn't it. How can I say that? Well, I didn't think All in the Family was funny either. Not after the first episode, at least. After that it got kind of repetitive and predictable.

Prime Minister calls abortion "murder"

"I see abortion as murder. What’s the difference between killing a baby inside a mother’s womb and killing a baby after birth?" Good question, posed by the prime minister of a NATO country on Saturday.

No, it wasn't David Cameron or "Call me Steve" Harper. Neither of them could be so un-PC as to speak the truth about baby-killing. The truth-teller was actually Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, speaking to his ruling party’s women’s branches in Ankara.

Mr. Erdogan went on to say that support for abortion should be seen as "a sneaky plan to wipe [Turkey] off the world stage." Abortion is legal in Turkey through the first ten weeks of pregnancy. But their PM wants to encourage the people of Turkey to maintain the country’s high birth rate, arguing that population growth helps to strengthen the country both economically and socially.

The Turkish leader -- who happens to be a Muslim, by the way -- has called for a "3-child policy" that would urge families to have at least 3 children. Think about that. If the Turks and other Muslims have 3 women per child, and the women of "Christian" North America and western Europe have just a tad over 1, how long will it take for the Muslims to be in the majority?

Mr. Erdogan has done the math. How about Obama, Cameron, Hollande, Harper and the rest of our "leaders"?

Footnote: In England and Wales (Rt. Hon. David Cameron, Prime Minister) 189,931 abortions were performed in 2011 -- but 7.7% above the rate 10 years ago. 36% of all abortions were procured by women who had had an abortion one or more times before.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, the head of Christian Concern, said that the new statistics should prompt new thinking about the legal status of abortion. In passing the Abortion Act of 1967, “Parliament never intended abortion to be available on demand,” she said. Yet the overall number of abortions continues to rise.

What Walt's readers are reading - SURPRISE!

Ed. here, with some interesting stats on which of our posts are attracting the most readership.

For weeks -- no, months! -- on end "Where next? Swaziland next?" has been No. 1 on Walt's Hits Parade. Since the story is old news now, we can only conclude that there must be something else in the post -- an image perhaps -- that Googlers want to check out. What could it be?

This week, however, the Swazi girls with their cute, errr, hairdos have dropped into second place, as readers are becoming increasingly concerned about the Islamization of Europe and North America. See "How can we be silent in the face of Islamization of our country?" No provocative pix in that post so it must be the facts that are getting people's attention. Walt hopes the message that we must wake up, stand up and speak up won't come too late.

A couple of places down this week's hit list comes "Enslaved by our banks: 12-year-old Canuck explains". If you haven't seen this great little video yet, have a look now. It takes less than 7 minutes and makes you think about who's really in control of our society and our lives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Toronto cardinal condemns Ontario government promotion of "gay-straight alliances" as attack on religious freedom

Last week Walt told you how another self-styled "Catholic" politician -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty -- wants publicly-funded "Catholic" schools to allow the use of the soubriquet "gay-straight alliance" for "anti-homophobia" or "anti-bullying" clubs, if students so choose. Walt's choice would be "hug-a-queer clubs". But if the students want to use a heavily politicised phrase which comes to Canada from the American "LGBT rights" movement, McGuinty has no problem with that.

Who could have a problem with such a progressive concept as a "gay-straight alliance"? The Roman Catholic Church, that's who. Yesterday Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto called the latest ukase from the Ontario Ministry of Education an attack on religious freedom. Which is exactly what it is.

"Why," asked the prelate "is an Act of the Legislature being used to, in a sense, micromanage the naming of student clubs? If the government at Queen’s Park comes in, the law comes in, and says this approach is going to be imposed across the board, anyone, any school, any person, any one student anywhere can trump the principal on this thing, this is...remarkable. Where’s the flexibility? Where’s the inclusivity?"

His Eminence is angry not just because of moral problems with the concept, but also because until Friday's announcement by Lauren Broten, the Minister of Education, the Catholics thought they had a deal with the McGuinty government to handle the issue in their own way. Cardinal Collins had spoken personally with the premier about the matter, and other church officials had been in ongoing discussions with the Liberal government over the new "bully law", so were blindsided by the minister’s unilateral announcement.

Christina Blizzard, writing in the Toronto Sun, calls the move "a breathtaking ambush... with far-reaching implications". Ms Blizzard also calls the last-minute amendment to the proposed legislation a remarkable display of hypocrisy on Broten's part -- her children go to a Catholic school -- as well as the pseudo-Catholic McGuinty, whose wife actually teaches in the Catholic system.

"As professionals, as politicians and as parents," the article continues, "they are well aware why the Catholic system exists and what its values are. [As Cardinal] Collins pointed out, if McGuinty tramples Catholic rights, he’ll walk over anyone. 'If you can do this to one group, you can do it to others.'" [My emphasis. Walt.]

In his press conference yesterday, Cardinal Collins said the Church was still taking legal advice as to the feasibility of mounting a court challenge under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Such an action would be on behalf of the majority of parents -- not just Catholics but parents of all faiths and no faith -- who told recent hearings here they opposed the "gay-straight alliances" and the Liberal government's continued pushing of the queer agenda. The issue is nothing less than one of religious freedom.

Monday, May 28, 2012

More "honour" in Canada's Sikhest community

Agent 3 says he can remember when Chinguacousy Township, in Peel Region, northwest of Toronto, was all farmland -- a nice, quiet, prosperous, agricultural community. Oh, and white too. Of course, he says, that was before Pierre Trudeau's ultra-Liberal government opened the floodgates of immigration from "south Asia".

Today, the eastern part of the old township is now the eastern part of the City of Brampton. It has developed into a "planned community" which at one time bore the name "Bramalea", after the developer who began its transformation into a Canadian Levittown. Well, errr... not Canadian exactly. The area in question, now officially called "Springdale", is more popularly and accurately known as "Sikhdale".

Where there are Sikhs, it seems, there are, from time to time, "honour killings". Not that these crimes are confined to "the Indo-Canadian community", of course. They are common enough in other immigrant communities, such as the small but growing Afghan-Canadian community. Readers will remember Agent 3's reports on last year's sensational Shafia murder case.

Today, a Sikhdale woman is dead and her husband under arrest following an early morning "domestic incident". The oh-so-PC Toronto Star did not give any names or reference to the ethnicity of the deceased or the accused. All it said was "There are no names being released as police attempt to notify the woman’s next of kin..." Hm. Not much reading between the lines was required to guess that those next of kin were not 1000 miles away from the Punjab.

The Toronto Sun laid any doubt to rest. It quoted next-door neighbour Sweety Shergill as saying she "didn’t know the family well, but knew the victim was from the Luddhiana district of Punjab, India". Bingo.

Agent 3 will keep us updated on the progress of the case. Don't be surprised if the motive has something to do with "family honour".

Footnote: Readers familiar with the ways of Indian immigrants would not have been surprised to read this paragraph, from the Sun's report: Shergill said a husband and wife lived in the house with their two children as well as the husband’s nephew. Another couple lived in the basement, she said.

Bertone... it's Bertone!

A reader asks why Walt didn't name the cardinal suspected of being behind the plot against Pope Benedict XVI. Please, dear reader, don't just read the lines. Read between the lines! Or if all else fails, read the labels at the bottom of each post!

The cardinal I described [clearly enough! Ed.] is none other than Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, the heir to Cardinal Sodano and chief mover behind the campaign to prevent the faithful knowing the Third Secret of Fatima.

Today, AP speaks of reports "that an Italian cardinal may be involved in a power struggle involving leaked documents, corruption and intrigue.

"Leading Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera and Il Messaggero reported Monday that the pope’s butler – arrested three days ago for allegedly feeding documents to Italian journalists – clearly did not act alone, and that an unidentified cardinal is suspected of playing a major role in the scandal."

It's Bertone. You read it here first. Lifetime pct .989.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

1000s of Catholics defy Chinese government, join in pilgrimage

Earlier this morning Walt told you about Joseph Cardinal Zen's warning that persecution of the Catholic Church in China is getting worse. Now I'm pleased to share with you a report from AsiaNews that more than 3000 Chinese Catholics joined in a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan on May 24th, the day set aside by the Pope for prayer for the Church in China.

Communist officials actively discouraged participation in the pilgrimage, warning of "security" risks, and barred Catholics from other dioceses from attending. But Father Thaddeus Ma Dagin, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Shanghai diocese, led a procession to the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan and concelebrated Mass with 40 other priests.

Before the crackdown of which Cardinal Zen spoke, the annual pilgrimage at times attracted as many as 200,000 faithful. But since 2008, when Pope Benedict XVI asked for special prayers on May 24th for unity within the Chinese Catholic Church, the Chinese government -- which recognizes only its own "Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association" -- has made every effort to minimize the event.

Some Chinese dioceses circumvent the official resistance by making pilgrimages to the Marian shrine on different dates. Others organize days of prayer on May 24th at locations within their own dioceses. Dear Catholic readers, please offer your prayers for the safety and blessing of these courageous Chinese.

Pray also that the Catholics here in the West -- where freedom of religion is supposedly protected by law -- will muster up the courage to stand up for the True Faith against the oppression of the secular humanist governments for which we stupidly keep voting.

What the Vatican butler saw

The "Vatileaks" story -- an investigation into a recent series of links of sensitive Vatican documents -- is taking on the air of a great detective story, or even a "St. James Bond" thriller! This week saw the arrest by the Vatican police -- yes, the Holy See does have a gendarmerie -- of none other than the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele.

Signor Gabriele, who has been majordomo of the Holy Father's household for six years, was allegedly discovered in possession of confidential documents. He is now being held in the Vatican's little used jail -- they have one of those too -- for further questioning. [Do I hear the rack being dusted off? Ed.]

But who is Signor Gabriele? What documents would he be filching, and why? Although he's a member of the pontifical household, Gabriele is only a layman. Would he know the significance of the letters and files with which he was caught? One can picture him looking at confidential documents on the Pope's desk while he did the dusting, but what would someone with no particular influence, acting on his own, do with the papers? Sell them on eBay? Hardly likely!

Vatican insiders are convinced that the "Vatileaks" scandal has been orchestrated by some more senior official... someone deeply involved in the ongoing power struggle within the Vatican. Perhaps the point of Gabriele's arrest is to set him up as a scapegoat to deflect attention from the real mastermind... perhaps a powerful prelate. Shades of Lee Harvey Oswald! Let's hope nothing happens to the butler before he can talk!

Walt is waiting with bated (not baited) breath for the next reel, in which the identity of the villain is revealed. Want to play the guessing game with me? Ask yourself what Italian cardinal likes to regard himself as the Pope's prime minister... the No. 2 man at the Vatican... the eminence grise... the power behind the Chair of Peter.

Which cardinal feels it's time for the papacy to pass back into the hands of an Italian... like his eminent self, for instance? Those who believe Lyndon Johnson was behind the assassination of JFK should have no trouble deducing the identity of the Man Who Would Be Pope. Lifetime pct .989.

Persecution of Church in China getting worse: Cardinal Zen

May 24th -- Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians -- was a special World Day of Prayer for China. To mark the occasion, Joseph Cardinal Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, gave an interview to ZENIT, in which he asserted that the persecution of the Church in China is becoming "more real and concrete".

According to the prelate, the Chinese Communist government is "employing increasingly dangerous and skilled methods, because they no longer stop at just threatening people; instead, they are now leading them into temptation. They do not want to make martyrs, they want to encourage renegades. For the Church this is so much worse. They have the means to test people, good, weak or timid, and reduce them to obedience. Their tools are money, but also prestige, honour or positions in society.

"What we need most today is to be faithful to the true nature of the Church -- one, Catholic, apostolic, founded on the rock of Peter" he continued, adding that he hopes for the day when Catholics "now still under the slavery" of the schismatic and heretical Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association reconcile with the faithful Catholics of the underground community.

"Humanly speaking, we see no intention of the government willing to recognize religious freedom," said the cardinal. "But God, through Our Lady Help of Christians, can work miracles."

Dear Catholic readers, your prayers for the "underground church" -- the true Church -- in China are needed not only on one special day, but every day of the year. Implore Our Lady to help the millions of Chinese who are not allowed by their diabolical government to worship God and His Divine Son in freedom and peace.

Previous posts on this topic: "The Church in China -- persecuted but still growing" (27/4/12), "Where religious persecution bites hardest" (4/9/11), "Zen Catholicism" (10/9/10).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Catholic" Premier of Ontario caves, allows "hug-a-queer" clubs

Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of the Canadian province of Ontario, claims to be a practising Catholic. (About half of Ontarians who identify themselves as "Christians" are Catholic, at least in name.) He is obviously a heterosexual, with a beautiful wife and numerous kids, and never hesitates to proclaim his belief in "family values". But when it comes to following the teachings of Holy Mother Church, he constantly proves himself one of those "cafeteria Catholics" who takes a pass on any Catholic principles that might cost him votes.

Latest case in point: McGuinty's government's continued pushing of the LGBT agenda in the Ontario educational system. The proposal of former Education Minister Kathleen Wynne -- a proud lesbian -- to start teaching kids as young as 8 or 9 that it's OK to be queer was quietly shelved after cries of outrage from parents (i.e. voters) of all faiths.

But the "gay community" keeps pushing, while at the same time working to hide their agenda under the cloak of something more innocent-sounding. Like anti-bullying legislation. No-one can defend bullying in schools or workplaces, right? And who gets bullied more than homosexuals? Everyone knows that queer-baiting goes on all the time in playgrounds and locker rooms across the province...nay, the nation!

The solution? "Gay-straight alliances". That's what the LGBT crowd wants us to call "hug-a-queer" clubs. And they want every school to have one, with a dedicated space in which gay boys and girls (or those who haven't made up their minds yet) can meet to... errr... do whatever it is they do. [Didn't it used to be the washrooms? Ed.]

Ontario's public school boards, generally dominated by liberal humanitarian "educationists" had no problem with this latest wheeze, but some Catholic boards -- Ontario has a separate, tax-funded "Catholic" school system -- and Catholic school principals drew a line in the sand. They were spurred on by a rare reminder from their bishops of the Church's teaching that homosexuality is morally and physically disordered -- contrary to God's law and natural law. "No gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools!" they said.

You might expect a government led by a Catholic to say it's up to the schools, and they didn't have to have GSAs if they didn't want to. But nooooo... The McGuinty government is a minority government, which means it could fall at any time, precipitating an election. And the queers have a lot of money and a lot of votes. So, better not offend them.

Hence a sudden (but not unexpected) flip-flop on the issue. At a student conference yesterday, Education Minister Laurel Broten announced the Liberal government’s Accepting Schools Act (sic), which gave schools a veto on names for any student club, would be amended, so that all schools — including those in the Catholic system — will not be able to stop students from calling "anti-homophobia clubs" "gay-straight alliances".

"Let’s remember these are student clubs and student voices matter in the naming of a student club," Ms Broten told reporters. A Mississauga student activist was thrilled.
"Our school forced a name on us," said Leanne Iskander, a self-described "queer" who goes to St. Joseph Secondary School, and belongs to the "Open Arms Club" that members hope to re-name.

And you thought Walt was being homophobic to use a word like "queer". That's pretty much what the light-in-the-loafers crowd call themselves. So, no more hissy-fits please.

Will there be a court challenge to the amended legislation, if it passes? Tom Collins -- the cardinal, not the drink -- will make a statement Monday.

Further reading: "Analysis of the Catholic Bishops of Ontario's response to the GSAs demanded by Dalton McGuinty", from Campaign Life Coalition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turning out the lights in Afghanistan

Has anyone noticed that, at its recent summit in Chicago, NATO decided -- very quietly -- that it would end its mission for democracy and civilization in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. The debate in Chicago centred on who should turn out the lights, and how much conscience money will be given to the Afghans after the foreign invaders have left.

Why are we quitting now, just when we were starting to see results? Apparently because the "results" weren't anything like what we hoped to see. NATO is getting its troops out of Afghanistan because its citizens' (and even its politicians') rose-coloured glasses broke long ago.

The Canadians pulled out last year, although they left behind nearly 1000 "trainers". The French will be heading out soon, which is considerably later than the other "allies" expected. That leaves the USA and once-Great Britain doing most of the heavy lifting.

So how's it going? The whole world can see that trying to bring peace and stability -- let alone democracy and civilization -- the Armpitistan is like slogging through quicksand. The more you struggle, the worse it gets. And then you die. Here's how Canadian PM Harpoon -- until now one of the principal cheerleaders for the war -- put it: "The longer a foreign intervention stays eventually the less likely its success becomes." Indeed.

And here's a trenchant comment from Jeffrey Simpson, writing in today's Globe and Mail:

It is almost always easier to enter a war than to leave it, especially when the enemy can flee the country and when the deeper conflict is not so much about defeating the enemy, in this case the Taliban, as it is about containing internal ethnic and religious differences.

These conflicts have always characterized Afghan society. The scumbag-chasers and those who thought as they did were intellectually ill-equipped to handle the pressures that arose from these conflicts. The application of military means to an essentially political problem produced what could be expected: some temporary military progress but no essential change in the underlying dynamics of the political structure.

Mr. Simpson goes on to point out that 158 Canadians who went to Afghanistan came home in bags and boxes. The body count for American and Britain, though proportionately smaller, was still well into the thousands. Tens of thousands were wounded. Billions upon billions of dollars, pounds and euros was spent, and billions more are going to be spent even after the invaders have gone home with their heads bowed. And for what?

Sands are already closing over their sacrifices, as they are beginning to close over the NATO mission, whose ambitions have been reduced to leaving with some modicum of order rather than any sense of that elusive concept, victory.

How can the Church defend pedophile priests?

Enraged by a recent report of the Archiocese of Philadelphia's cover-up of child sex abuse crimes committed by some of its priests, an assiduous reader writes:
I am getting so tired of this constant parade of kiddy-diddling priests. I had hoped that the publicity in the past decades would force the Pope to forcibly address this. But the archbishops and others are still covering and protecting these priests who think it is open season. The papers are full of the church fighting contraception but IMHO they seem to be doing very little about this disgusting behavior. How can you, as a Catholic, defend not just the crimes but the Church's failure to do anything about them?

Walt's reply:
You are quite right. Both the abuse and the denials and cover-ups are a source of shame and disgust to traditional Catholics and the many holy priests who keep their vows.

A website published by a "sede vacantist" -- one who says that the post-Conciliar popes are illegitimate, thus not popes at all -- lays the blame right at the feet of the Holy Father, who he calls "the Pedophile Pope", suggesting that Pope Benedict protects the bishops who protect the priests who commit these sins that cry out to Heaven.

This was foretold by Our Lady of Fatima, and corresponds with the words of Apocalypse 12:3-4:
And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his heads seven diadems:
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth...
The dragon is Satan and the stars of Heaven are the bishops and priests.

Many Catholics, including yr obdt svt, believe that the Church needs to be cleansed. Pope Paul VI said "The smoke Satan has entered the Church" and he should know because he was one of those who opened the windows. But how the Church will be reformed, only God knows. All the faithful can do is pray is pray for the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

Further reading from Walt's previous posts: "Benedict XVI admits Church's problems come 'from within'"; "Another fallen star".

Remember, if you have questions or comments or just want to vent, you're welcome to e-mail Walt [and Ed. Ed.]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hatchett man axes for a break on child support

The winner of the Knox County (TN) Stork Derby for the first decade (or so) of the 21st century is... drum roll... envelope please... Desmond Hatchett, age 33, of Knoxville. Since 1997 Dirty Des has fathered no fewer than 30 pickaninnies with 11 different baby mamas! What a feat! [It ain't his feat wut done it! Ed.]

How, you may ask, was Mr. Hatchett able to set what Melissa Gibson, an assistant supervisor with the Knox County child support clerk's office, thinks is the county record for most children. It's quite amazing, especially considering that he'd managed to beget only 21 sprogs up until 2009, when he told WREG-TV in Memphis he was done procreatin'.

Walt will do the math for you. Yes, Des has become a father nine times in the past three years! In a subsequent interview, Hatchett explained, "I had four kids in the same year. Twice."

So who's paying to look after all these kids? Walt knows what you're thinking, but Ms Gibson couldn't or wouldn't say whether their mothers are receiving "social assistance". (That's what we call "welfare" nowadays.) Anyway, it sure isn't Hatchett, because state law requires that no more than 50% of his wages can be withheld for support payments. And that's when he's working, which is, errr, not all the time. That's why he was in court last week, asking for a break on those payments.

Again, Walt will do the math for you. The minimum wage in TN is $7.25 per hour, which would come to... errr... $290 per week. OK, let's say $1250 per month, of which 50% would be $625, divided by 30 comes to just under $21 per little bastard per month. Not really enough, is it.

Is there a lesson in all this? If so, it would seem Des and 11 different women have yet to learn it. As a traditional Catholic, Walt can hardly advocate forced sterilization, but -- leaving religious principles aside -- there are times when something like China's One Child Policy makes a good deal of common sense. No kidding!

For recent j-school graduates, Walt explains English "confusables"

Walt was dismayed -- no, shocked! -- last week last week to see a story in the local Daily Fishwrap headlined "EMS team repels down gorge". Apart from a stern letter to the editor urging him to hire an English-speaking sub-editor, I haven't written anything since.

Do they teach English in journalism schools nowadays, I asked. Do they do any vocabulary-building exercises? Does spelling count? Are any of these things important any more? Or do "journalists" these days rely on their spell-checkers and e-thesauri?

Walt urges journalist wannabes and other aspiring writers to remember that the computer is merely a dumb beast of burden. It does what you tell it, no more and no less. If the spell-checker, let's say, gives you a choice, you still have to know the rules of spelling and grammar to make the correct choice.

So also with vocabulary. You have to know the meanings of words in order to spell them correctly. Is it "know" and "no"? "To" or "too"? Thanks to "text-talk" the trend is now to treat those distinctions as unimportant. If you write "I didn't no that", people will still geddit...right? They won't think you mean "I didn't deny that." Right?

Then there's the matter of contractions. We're talking grammatical contractions here, not the physical kind as in childbirth. But it seems recent graduates of j-school know more about the latter than the former, as we see from the frequent misuse of "there" for "they're" or, even more frequently, "your" for "you're".

As part of our little effort to raise the standards of written English -- or at least prevent them from slipping any further -- Walt will tell you the meanings and proper spellings of these "confusables".

"Your" = possessive, "belonging to you"
"You're" = contraction of "you are"
"Yore" = a long, long time ago, "days of yore"

"Their" = possessive, "belonging to them"
"They're" = contraction of "they are"
"There" = not here, "over there"

People who call themselves writers should know the difference. If you make a mistake writing a comment on one of Walt's posts, Ed. will print it just the way you wrote it, revealing your linguistic ineptitude for all to see.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Born in Kenya"? Different story 17 years later

Chances are you've already seen this -- it's gone viral, as they say -- but just in case you didn't, here's proof that the Prez hisself was telling the world, back in 1991, that he was not born in the USA.

And -- get this -- it's not just a question of being born in a territory that had not then been admitted to statehood. The booklet pictured says Obama was born in Kenya.

Did da man hisself write that? No. It was written by a literary agent, plugging a forthcoming book by a then-young, otherwise unknown former president of the Harvard Law Review. But where would the agent have got that information, if not from the author himself?

But, you may well ask, why would Obama say that of himself? What was he thinking? Obviously running for the presidensity wouldn't have been at the top of his agenda. Either that or he hadn't read the Constitution very carefully. Perhaps he -- or his agent -- thought that it sounded more cool and worldly to be born in colonial Kenya than in Honolulu. Citizen of the world and all that.

For clarification, let's ask the agent! That would be Miriam Goderich, now a partner at Dystel & Goderich, an agency which has among its clients... wait for it... one Barack Hussein Obama. Anyway, here's what the totally unbiased Ms Goderich told Yahoo News:
"This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me--an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more."

Of course! A simple mistake! Why would we think anything else? But, errr, would Mr. Obama not have checked the blurb written by Ms Goderich before it appeared in print? Would it be churlish to suggest that he could have corrected Miriam's error, had he wished to do so?

If that be the case, then ABC News is leading the pack of churls. They call the publication of the blurb "evidence--not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times."

And, Walt would add, for different purposes. Just like his "principles".

Thursday, May 17, 2012

VIDEO: Enslaved by our banks: 12-year-old Canuck explains

Canada’s banks have been called the safest in the world. Better than American banks, and certainly better than the banks of Europe. But safe for whom? For shareholders and bank executives, that's who!

A Canadian student, 12-year-old Victoria Grant of Cambridge ON, has gained incredible fame (or, in banking circles, notoriety) for stating the obvious, i.e. that the banks -- Canadian, American, and European -- are the fattest of all capitalist cats, amassing riches of which Croesus could only dream on the banks of us "ordinary people".

There are probably no more than eight people on the planet who haven't seen Victoria's rant on the Internet, but in case you're one of them, here's a video of her address to the Public Banking in America Conference in Philadelphia at the end of April.

Victoria talks about money -- wealth -- being created by a few keyboard strokes on the central bankers' computers. Sounds as if she's been thinking about the concept Ron McPherson calls Facilitism, mentioned here before.

We continue to be frightened this week by "news" that Europe is still teetering on the brink of a financial crisis. We common folk -- not just Greeks but all of us -- will have to tighten our belts still further because if we don't, Greece and other fiscally imprudent countries may not be able to pay the debt they owe to... errr... the banks. What will be the result? Our taxes will go up, our standard of living (especially health care) will go down... and the banks will be paid.

In Freedom's Dawning, Ron McPherson claims Facilitism can eliminate taxes, eeradicate poverty, produce jobs for all, and give us free education and health care. Maybe it's time to read it, and give some more thought to the whole concept of banking and artificially created debt.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It dumb...y'know?

Walt spent some time over the weekend with someone who uses "filler words". Those are words or phrases like "basically", "really" and "y'know", which are inserted in simple sentences, seemingly at random, to give slow talkers (or slow thinkers) pause for breath or for thought,

And of course there's the now-infamous "like"... "Like, my kid goes... y'know... how much is, like, two and two? Like he's basically stupid, y'know..."

Agent 17 complains, rightly, that the abuse and misuse of "like", which seems to have originated in California as "Valley talk", has crept into the parlance of supposedly intelligent and educated people, like bank managers and government spokesthingies.

And journalists! Like, duuhhh! Zoë Triska, writing in The Blog on Huffington Post's site, admits to this annoying habit. "If you use this word," she writes, "people will think you're stupid!"

Here's her article, the second in an ongoing series aimed at promoting better English usage. If you catch me doing it, alert Ed. and he'll, like, shoot me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crusade for good English

Where is William Safire when we need him so desperately? Alas, he shuffled off the mortal coil back in 2009, and, since no-one has stepped up to the plate, perhaps Walt and Ed. can at least get into the on-deck circle.

Wherever Mr. Safire is, I hope he can't read that introduction. He was a long-time political columnist for the New York Times and the author of "On Language" in the New York Times Magazine. That column dealt with popular etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics, including the avoidance of overwrought and overused clichés.

Walt has a long-standing love affair with the English language, and was a great admirer of Mr. Safire's efforts to promote good (and witty) usage. A collection of his columns appeared in book form as On Language (Times Books, 1981) and has a place of honour in Walt's working library.

It's good, in a way, that William Safire is not alive today to see what has become of the language of Shakespeare, Milton and Churchill. Or great American writers and speakers like John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Tom Wolfe and William F. Buckley Jr. Safire must have seen the dumbing-down of the language coming. Not just our language but our entire culture. Perhaps he was glad enough to leave the West to its decline.

Since the advent of "electronic communication", e-mail -- no-one writes proper letters any more -- and "text talk", the English language is not just in decline, but in free-fall. There are a few brave souls who, like King Cnut [careful... Ed.] are trying to stem the tide of illiteracy that threatens to inundate us. Over the next couple of weeks, Walt and Ed. will post some of their writings, with the aim of encouraging our dear readers to write (and speak) better, and eschew "English for dummies",

We begin with a link to "Neil Pasricha’s ‘awesome’ blog helped destroy language", by the Toronto Star's Heather Mallick. In this piece, Ms Mallick inveighs against "linguistic bleaching", which she calls a crime. She refers to the misuse of words in a way that drains them of meaning. Words like "awesome", which is used so often now that it has become awful... and not in the old sense of "full of awe". Please read and heed.

A big thank-you (note the hyphen) to Agents 6 and 17 for pushing us to do this.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Total war against Islam" taught at Pentagon... no longer

Walt has been wondering what possessed the American soldiers who burned copies of the Qu'ran, had themselves photographed pissing on corpses, or went on a killing spree offing 16 (or so) Afghans. Is this any way to win the hearts and minds of those benighted Muslims? What were they thinking?!

Turns out the idea of waging "total war" against the Afghans and all Muslims has been put into the troops' robotic minds by the Pentagon! BBC News reports that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was shocked and saddened to hear that the Joint Forces Staff College has been teaching that America’s enemy is Islam in general (not just terrorists) and suggesting that the USA might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths.

Gen. Martin Dempsey said the course was "totally objectionable" and "against our values", and has now been suspended. That's "suspended" like the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns, not "cancelled". Certain training materials at the FBI have also been rewritten for being similarly politically incorrect.

The military now says that the teaching in the course, led by Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, was at odds with the government's repeated claims that the American war in Iraq and Afghanistan -- not forgetting Libya -- is against Islamic extremists. It's not a Christian crusade against Islam itself. As if Hussein Obama would be leading a Christian crusade!

Before we condemn Lt. Col. Dooley, let's hear a bit of what he was saying to his students. In a presentation last July at the Staff College, he said, "[The Muslims] hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit."

He went on to say that, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, the Geneva Conventions that set standards of armed conflict are "no longer relevant". "This," he added, " would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable...)."

Lt. Col. Dooley's war plan suggested possible outcomes such as "Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation ... Islam reduced to cult status" and the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia "destroyed".

Pretty strong stuff. But wait a minute. Haven't we seen this movie before? Only with the characters reversed... Aren't the Muslims saying that we "Christians" are mounting a crusade, a holy war, against Islam? Aren't they calling on the faithful to wage jihad against us? Haven't they plotted to destroy our cities and holy places, just as they did in the Middle Ages? Is it not their wish...their wipe the infidels (i.e. non-Muslims) off the face of the earth?

Where is Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moor-slayer) when we need him?

Another coloured yoof murdered in Toronto; Kemi still at large

Another young man has been murdered in the vicinity of Toronto's notorious Cooper Mills housing project. The area is occupied mainly by folks of the coloured persuasion, immigrants and refugees from Jamaica, Somalia and other third world hellholes, where settling scores with guns is the way of life.

The yoof will doubtless turn out to be "a good boy who was turning his life around and aspired to be a rap artiste". That will be the way his mother or auntie tells it. No father will be interviewed because he will be unknown or AWOL.

But never fear! According to the Toronto Sun's Chris Doucette (who seems to have some connection with her) Kemi Olukemi-Olunloyo, black media whore par excellence, is on hand to speak up for the victims and their families. The "outspoken crime victim advocate" said "I believe these killings are all connected in some way." Well, duhhhh!

Mr. Doucette's reference to the lovely Kemi modestly omitted her own travails with John Law, as mentioned by Walt in "The skinny on Kemi", about 18 months ago.

Kemi keeps popping up in the media -- well, in Chris Doucette's stories -- every couple of months, but still hasn't had the cuffs slapped on her. Walt wonders what's keeping the Canadian immigration authorities from sending Kemi back to George (the state) where outstanding warrants await her, or Nigeria, where there is considerably more black crime for her to moan about.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A port-a-potty for your car? Only in America!

Walt has lived and worked on four continents, in two worlds (first and third), and... let's see... a number of countries. But nowhere have I met folks more squeamish about relieving themselves outside of a "bathroom" than in the Excited States of America.

Americans, especially of the fairer sex -- is it still OK to say that? -- seem to have a terrible phobia about being "caught short" (as the Brits say) and having to resort to bushes, carparks or dark alleys. That's why you will find "rest areas" every 40 miles or so on the Interstate super-highways -- often in the middle of nowhere [meaning Nebraska. Ed.] -- complete with flush euphemisms.

But what if you can't make it to the rest area? What if you're stuck in a traffic jam? If you pull over and go behind the car door, someone might see... well, need I go on?

But never fear! Relief is at hand! [Where are we going with this? Ed.] American ingenuity wins the day! Dr. James Kolter, a gynecologist, has invented the GoPilot!

According to the website, this handy device:

  • will enable a traveller to discreetly urinate within the privacy of a stationary vehicle;

  • may help prevent physical discomfort and repeated stops at rest areas to use public "bathrooms";

  • can be discreetly used by anyone in a motor vehicle.

Well, this is getting a bit repetitious. Let's hear the pitch from the mouth of the good doctor himself.

Isn't America wonderful?

PS - If you're ordering, please don't tell them Walt sent you. This article is posted as a public convenience.

One queer picture is worth 1000 queer words

Hope Brian Gable -- star editorial cartoonist of the Globe and Mail -- won't mind our sharing this comment on President Al O'Bama's sudden ephiphany.

We already knew the Prez believes in evolution, including the evolution of his own principles according to the direction of the wind. But the wind only blows in an unnatural direction in parts of the USA, like San Francisco and New York, possibly Washington DC (especially around Georgetown). Will Obie's coming out [Watch it! Ed.] in favour of "gay marriage" endear him to the voters of North Carolina, rural Ohio and Pennsylvania? Ask again in about six months.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

American Catholics to lead revitalization of the Faith? Really???

Walt is shaking his head [so hard his little brain is rattling. Ed.] at a statement reportedly made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States. Speaking at the Pontifical College Joesphinum, in Ohio, on April 27th, Abp. Vigano called on American Catholics to "lead the entire Church in the world" to revitalize the Faith. And, he said, his call was "the vision of the Holy Father".

Which leads me to wonder, has Abp. Vigano taken leave of his senses, or is it the Pope himself who needs to have his vision corrected. Granted, the Faith in Europe is in a sad state of decline, and badly needs an example. But looking to the liberalism and unorthodoxy of the mainstream Catholic Church in America as a source of leadership and inspiration... that really is a very bad joke. Walt will tell you why.

Item: According to a recent opinion poll, "Catholic" voters in the US still (narrowly) favour the re-election of Barack Hussein Obama -- the president who has virtually declared war on the Church by mandating that Catholic institutions provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.

Item: In April, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria was widely criticized by other Catholic bishops and priests for having the temerity to denounce the Obama régime and remind Catholics that it is their duty to vote their consciences.

Item: Bishop Jenky came under "friendly fire" from the faculty of Notre Dame University, but that's nothing. Now the IRS is said to be considering an investigation of his remarks. There (potentially) goes the Church’s tax-exempt status!

Item: Many so-called "Catholic" colleges and universities in the USA will feature pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage commencement speakers in the coming weeks. Among those providing a bully pulpit for anti-Catholicism is Georgetown University (visited by Walt in person just two weeks ago) which will host "Health and Human Services" Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's point person on the pro-choice file.

CatholicCulture reminds us that in 2008, Archbishop Joseph Naumann revealed that he had asked Sebelius not to receive Holy Communion because of her support for legalized abortion. Four years earlier, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that "the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

The Cardinal Newman Society has collected well over 12,000 signatures on an e-petition opposing the appearance of Ms Sebelius. (Click here to add your signature!) And yet the Catholic "leaders" Abp. Vigano is counting on -- his office, by the way, is not all that far from GU -- remain unmoved.

Item: Speaking of "unmoved", a "Catholic" wimmin's group calling itself the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the U.S., recently rebuked by a Vatican report for its departure from Catholic teaching in several areas, is far from bowing its head. The LCWR has enlisted the support of the lamestream media, which is accusing the hierarchy of trying to suppress progressive opinion in the Church. The real story is quite different. The Vatican's problems with the LCWR are doctrinal, not political. Period.

One last item: A survey of America’s youngest voters has found that many young people are drifting away from the religion in which they were raised. The study by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center found that Catholics and mainline Protestants were most likely to change their religious affiliations, with Catholic students rejecting their Faith at higher rates than non-Catholics. Hardly surprising, at Georgetown.

So... who is misinformed about the state of the Church in the USA? Is it Archbishop Vigano or Pope Benedict himself? Could it be that the situation in Europe is so dire that Catholicism in America looks healthy by comparison?

Another question. Whence cometh the optimism of the Holy Father (or Abp. Vigano) that the worldwide loss of the Faith can be halted (let alone reversed) by the leadership and example of the American Church?

Could it be that the Pope and his minion have forgotten about... or simply do not believe in... the prophecy and request of Our Lady of Fatima? The Fatima Prophecy makes no mention of the United States. The Blessed Virgin names Russia as the key to world peace... or the agent of world chastisement.

It is Russia, She tells us, not the United States, that will revitalize the Faith, but only after Russia is converted to Catholicism. And that will happen only after the Pope, acting in union with the bishops (including Abp. Vigano), consecrates Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

It is to Our Lady, not the American Church, that the Holy Father must look for the means to revitalize the True Faith. Let us pray he heeds Her requests... soon!

The "only" problem

Ed. here. I was reading a little essay on the War of 1812 -- the only war the USA lost until Vietnam -- and came upon this sentence:
The war is only part of [Canadian] history because the Americans and the British decided to work out their differences on our land.

What does the writer (Barbara Smith) mean by "The war is only part of [Canadian] history..." Does she mean there's more, as in "only a part of [Canadian] history"? Or does she mean the war is a part of Canadian history only because...

The word "only" is like a penis. You have to be careful where you stick it. You must take care to place it immediately before the noun, verb or adjective you wish to modify because to put it close to some other word can change the whole meaning of your sentence. Here are some examples:

Only I told you I killed my wife. = No-one else told you.
I only told you I killed my wife. = I didn't put it in writing.
I told only you I killed my wife. = I didn't tell anyone else.
I told you only I killed my wife. = Nobody helped me.
I told you I only killed my wife. = I didn't do anything else to her.
I told you I killed only my wife. = No-one else.
I told you I killed my only wife. = I'm not a Muslim.

Thus endeth the only lesson... for today. You're welcome.

In what way is Canada like India?

Forgetting (if possible) about the darkening complexion of "greater" Toronto and "greater" Vancouver, the answer is that sex-selective abortions are widely practised in both countries by parents who wish to have only boy babies. In other words, female fetuses are killed by the 1000s... in both countries... every year.

Although Canada has had no specific law against abortion since 1988, many couples of the Hindu persuasion prefer to cross the border to have their girl babies killed at "prenatal clinics" like Koala Labs or the Washington Center for Reproductive Health.

Like Planned Parenthood, the WCRH purports to be about family planning. For a while, they ran ads in Indo-Canadian newspapers headlined "Create the family you want: boy or girl". But the unstated sub-text was, and still is: If our technique doesn't work and it turns out you're going to have a girl, we'll kill it for you. No problem.

In "Indo-Canadian doctor decries abortion of female babies", Walt referred to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which checked the male:female ratio of 767,000 Ontario births, compared with the mother's country of origin. For the first-borns, the ratio was normal: 105 boys to 100 girls. The ratio was the same for second births for mothers born in Canada. But for mothers born in India the ratio was 110:100. And for South Korea, 120:100! So it's not just the Indians.

For third births, the ratio, for Indo-Canadian mothers was even higher, 136:100. How could this be? Dr. Prabhar Jha, of the University of Bombay [Toronto, surely! Ed.] said it wasn't necessarily sex-selective abortion that was the cause of the abnormality. Possibly, he said, more women who are expecting a son immigrate to Canada!

The main author of the study, Dr. Joel Ray, admits it doesn't show why ratios are distorted, only that they are so. But data from censuses in both Canada and India show the same (or even greater) discrepancies in the sex ratios of second or third children in Indian and other Asian communities.

Which prompts Jonathan Kay, writing in Canada's National Post, to call for the drafting of a new law regulating, if not prohibiting abortions. Sex-selective abortions, he says, are seen in India and even China as crimes against humanity -- at least in theory. Why should Canada take a more permissive view? Click here to read "How shocking new sex-selection data could finally lead us to a Canadian abortion law".

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Being de-hijabbed better than winning lottery for KC woman

As Walt has explained before in "Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?", the hijab -- as shown here -- is the basic or minimum headcovering for a modest Muslim woman. Head hair is considered more private than, errr, other hair. I guess. Add a veil over the forehead and face, and you've got a niqab. Cover everything up, and that's the burqa. But the hijab is the minimum.

If you're a Muslim woman, having your head and hair suddenly uncovered would be shocking, shameful and stressful. Especially if you're a convert, as is Susann Bashir, a former resident of Kansas City, now en route to Anchorage with $5 million in her pocket (potentially), thanks to a jury that awarded her that sum (and more) in a lawsuit she brought against AT&T.

According to her claim, Ms Bashir had worked as a fibre optics network builder at AT&T’s Kansas City plant for ten years before being fired. Sadly, almost immediately after she converted to Islam in 2005, the workplace environment became hostile. Ms Bashir claimed she endured religious discrimination nearly every day of her last three years at ATT. For example, she was called a "towelhead" and a "terrorist", and was asked if she was going to blow up the building.

What really hurt though, she said, was her co-workers referring to her hijab as "that thing on her head". "I was shocked," she told the Kansas City Star. "I thought, what is going on? Nobody ever cared what I wore before. Nobody ever cared what religion I was before."

Everything came to a head [Watch it! Ed.] in 2008 when her boss snatched her hijab, exposing her hair. This was after she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC duly launched an investigation, her co-workers got angry, and that led to the final encounter with her boss.

Ms Bashir then asked that her boss be removed or that she be transferred, but neither happened. Thus she became so stressed out, according to her claim, that she was unable to work for, errr, nine months, after which she was fired for some reason.

AT&T says it disagrees with the verdict and will be appealing. [As if AT&T could ever be appealing! Ed.]

Footnote: Ms Bashir is unlikely to collect the entire $5 million in punitive damages, as Missouri law caps such awards at five times the actual damages, which in this case amounted to just over $120,000. So that's about 600 large for Ms Bashir. Plus costs, of course. Better than winning the lottery, says Walt!

Friday, May 4, 2012

No Christian tees, please, in Canuck public schools

"Life is wasted without Jesus!" That's the belief of William Swinimer, a sometime Grade 12 student at a so-called public school in Chester Basin. That's on the south shore of Nova Scotia, one of Canada's "down east" provinces. [Somewhere near Chester Shower and Chester Memory? Ed.]

At some point in his progress through school, Bill got the idea that he had the right to free speech. That would be so in the USA -- the First Amendment guarantees that -- but not in Canada, where your right to say what you think stops at the door of a human rights commission. Or in this case, the South Shore Regional School Board.

Perhaps it would have made a difference had Mr. Swinimer chosen to wear a tee-shirt proclaiming his belief in Allah or the New World Order. Instead, his tee-shirt carries the pro-Christian message shown. And for sporting said tee, Bill got suspended from school. His shirt might offend non-Christians, dontcha see. And in Canada, minority rights trump the rights of the majority every time.

Walt is pleased to report that at least some of the Chester Basin's majority decided to be silent no longer. As a result of popular pressure, the SSRSB has gone to the liberal educator's default. Yep, they're bringing in a facilitator, who will facilitate (or whatever) a forum (or whatever) to discuss the issue, which has now been defined as "how to ensure students’ rights are not violated, while protecting other students from criticism". Everyone clear on that?

Ed. thanks Agent 6 for the lead on this story.

PS - If you would like to contact the South Shore Regional School Board to voice your support for their fearless stand in favour of secularism and political correctness, this link will take you to their contact page.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lawless America

Bill Windsor has been mentioned in WWW before (here and here) in connection with his role in exposing the sleaze and corruption at the Niagara (Ontario) Parks Commission, particularly in connection with a sweetheart deal on the Maid of the Mist tour boat facility.

That deal was set aside through the efforts of Mr. Windsor, a whistle-blowing commissioner by the name of Bob Gale, and a citizens action group called Preserve Our Parks. But "Mr. Bill" wasn't a one-trick pony. The corruption and disregard of the public weal at NPC -- and its counterpart on the US side of the river -- is just one example, he feels, of a culture of corruption and lawlessness which infects America's government and judiciary at every level in virtually every state.

So, being an American who believes in speaking out (unlike your typically timid Canuck) Mr. Windsor has started a campaign. It's called Lawless America, and here's the link.

What's Lawless America doing to fight corruption? Making a movie exposé, for one thing -- funding permitting. And there's an online petition you can sign, if you support honesty in government and the rights you were granted under the American Constitution and Bill of Rights. Such as the right to speak out in public. And the right to petition for redress!

Lawless America is worth checking out. There's no partisan agenda, as nearly as I can tell. Mr. Bill's attitude seems to be "a pox on all their houses". I can relate to that!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Suspended" campaigns

First Rick Santorum "suspended" his campaign for the presidensity, so he could devote his time to family health concerns. Money had nothing to do with it, of course, nor did the fact that he was falling deeper and deeper into second place. But OK, let's give him that one.

Today "Hold 'er Newt" Gingrich "suspended" his campaign. That one, Walt will not give him. Maybe my grasp of English is not perfect, but to me, "suspend" equals "put on hold" or "postpone until further notice". Presumably a "suspended" campaign could be revived in the event a certain eventuality is eventuated.

Which leads me to ask: what, exactly, would it take to get Newt to throw his hat back into the ring? A fresh injection of money from his one and only fat cat backer? Or how about a reliable report that hell has frozen over.

Why can't aspiring politicians simply say, "My cause is lost. I quit."

Disgusting book review

Yes, dear reader, there really is a National Rotten Sneaker Contest, held every year in Montpelier VT. This is one of the judges, Rachel Herz -- no relation to Dick. This is her website. Dr. Herz is the author of That's Disgusting (W.W. Norton & Co. Ltd., 2012).

The title of the good doctor's latest book -- an earlier opus is called The Scent of Desire -- caught my eye, so I picked it up to see if my name was spelled correctly. Then I noticed the subtitle: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion.

That's right. The book is about stuff that makes us sick, literally. It's all about disgust, and how our sense of disgust permeates everything we do: what we eat, who we talk to, even who we sleep with.

To quote from the preface, That's Disgusting "explores what disgust is, [and] how, where and why it is elicited psychologically and neurologically, what its dark sides are, our perverse attraction to it, and its consequences for us as individuals and for our society."

But don't let the rather clinical-sounding abstract put you off. I'm finding the book hugely funny, and I've only just begun reading it. The first chapter is called "Let's Eat", and presents an unsavoury soupçon of truly yucky foods and beverages, most of them fermented, i.e. rotten. I've eaten a couple of the items she describes, such as injera. However, I've never ingested the Icelandic hakarl, which celebrity chef called "the single worst, most disgusting, and terrible tasting thing" he had ever eaten. Nor will I get anywhere near casu marzu, a Sardinian cheese about which the less said the better.

Other chapters deal with germs, disgusting people, horror shows, and (of course) "Lust and Disgust". That one explains why necrophilia has been alluded to (but not shown) more than once on Family Guy, and why the Japanese (and others) seem to enjoy the sight of young ladies exchanging bodily excretions.

Fittingly, "Lust and Disgust" is followed by chapters on "Law and Order" and "Disgust Lessons". There are copious notes and a few illustrations -- mercifully in black and white only. And there's a good index. I checked to see if Paris Hilton or Newt Gingrich were mentioned, but they weren't -- although William Miller was included.

Be sure to read That's Disgusting... but not too soon before or after eating.

Obama visits Sandpit, sees hope; errant taxi driver saves the day

US President Al O'Bama made a "surprise" visit to Armpitistan yesterday, where he signed a "historic" accord with Afghan's freely and fairly and Democratically (geddit?) elected President Krazai. Apparently arriving just as the sun rose, the Prez said, "We can see the light of a new day." Well, he would say that, wouldn't he. Always full of hope, or possibly dope.

AP quotes Mr. Obama as saying "Our goal is to destroy al-Qaeda, and we are on a path to do exactly that, thanks to my single-handed slaying of Osama bin Laden exactly one year ago. Three cheers and a tiger for me! And don't forget to vote for change in 2012." [Ed., please see if you can get a second source for that quote.] At this point an advisor clapped a hand over the Prez's mouth.

A couple of hours later, al-Qaeda launched a suicide attack in Kabul, the Afghan capital, not realizing that Obama had been speaking from the safety of the US base at Bagram, several hundred miles away. Pictures from BBC here.

"No, no, no," an al-Qaeda spokesthing told Al Jazeera. "We did know where Obama was, but the taxi we got into turned out to be driven by a Afghan or a Somali or something. Damn foreigners!"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"What would Mitt have done?" What's the point???

I see that Al O'Bama's advisors have decided that a good re-election strategy would be to emphasize that it was he who gave the order to take out Osama bin Laden. He's the decision-maker-in-chief, dontcha know. And he didn't hesitate to give the order to do what had to be done. Unlike Mitt Romney, who -- for all we know -- might not have given the same order had he been in the same position at the same time.

Or maybe he would have. Who knows? Speculating about what might or might not have happened in the past is a form of mental masturbation in which Walt does not indulge. Nor should you, gentle reader. Obama was the president, he did give the order, and bin Laden is no more. Even if we may think now that it wasn't such a great idea [Get on with it! Ed.] what's done is done.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is not "What would Mitt have done?" but, what has been gained by the assassination of bin Laden? Or, perhaps, what has been lost?

If I understand the plan correctly, the idea was that cutting off the head would destroy the body of the beast that is al-Qaeda. A year later, al-Qaeda still exists, though in a wounded and weaker form. They don't seem able to carry out large-scale attacks any far as we can see.

But the law of unintended consequences has asserted itself. The fragile alliance between the US-led West and Pakistan, has been ruptured, seemingly beyond repair.

The fact that bin Laden was found in Pakistan, where he had been living for years while the ISI (Pakistan's answer to the CIA) looked the other way has caused a certain amount of suspicion in Washington and the Pentagon. And the Pakis aren't exactly thrilled about American forces having gone over their heads -- literally -- to waste the Evil One's earthly incarnation.

Of course investigations are being made -- indeed so -- but as yet no-one has been held accountable for helping bin Laden hide in plain sight for all this time. Pakistan continues to deny any knowledge of bin Laden’s presence, and the decision-maker-in-chief has apparently decided not to call them on it.

Stephen Cohen, of the Brookings Institution, was quoted today as saying, "[We think] we have been taken for fools by the Pakistanis. [They] think we’re still using them the way we would a Kleenex or a condom. We use them, then throw them away." Result? Each side views the other with simmering suspicion, and the relationship between the USA and Pakistan has fallen apart.

So what? Well...the trouble is that the NATO forces (or what's left of them) still need Pakistan's help if they're to have any chance of keeping Afghanistan stable and out of the hands of the Taliban.

Bin Laden was almost a spent force before he was killed. His papers, released just now, show that he was having difficulty even in communicating with his network. The various branches or cells of al-Qaeda were slipping out of his control. He was even thinking about "rebranding" al-Qaeda, we are told, to regain the influence which had been lost while he was in hiding.

Thus bin Laden's death did almost nothing to change the conflict on the ground in Afghanistan. All that was accomplished was the exacerbation of tensions between Washington and Islamabad.

Perhaps, then, the Prez's decision wasn't so great after all. Walt humbly suggests -- as an alternative to "What would Mitt have done?" -- a question for Mr. Obama: What are you going to do for an encore?