Friday, June 29, 2012

Got your gay Oreos yet?

You've probably seen this picture half a dozen times already. It's a visual representation of support for gay pride, produced by Nabisco, the fine folks who proudly bring you new and improved junk food.

I put "gay" in italics just in case you've forgotten that June 25th was known for many years as Gay Pride Day, celebrated with Gay Pride parades, fudge-packing contests and other manners of gaiety.

Now the LGBTQ community has decided to delete the "gay" from the title of the festivities, but we all know what it's about, don't we. It's yet another part of the campaign to make homosexuality, in all its perverse forms, appear "normal" and acceptable according to modern and progressive community standards.

And it's not just one day or even one week now. Such is the strength of the queer lobby in Washington that we have a whole "LGBT Pride Month", to be celebrated from sea to shining sea. And Kraft Nabisco, being savvy marketers, has not been shy about jumping on the boys-in-the-bandwagon.

Earlier this week, this picture of an Oreo cookie with six layers of sugary goop in the colours of the gay rainbow flag, was posted onto Nabisco’s Facebook page. The image was accompanied by the caption “June 25 Pride” and “Proudly Supports Love”.

Sadly for Nabisco, not everyone loves the gay Oreo, or the whole idea of gay pride with all that entails. The Facebook post drew more than 23,000 comments in the first 24 hours. [That's more than we get in an entire day! Ed.] 48 hours later the number of comments had almost doubled.

Many commenters expressed -- some quite forcefully -- their abandonment of brand loyalty to Nabisco and its Oreo products, while others threatened to unlike the Oreo page and boycott the cookies altogether. One commenter went so far as to launch a boycott campaign against Nabisco on Facebook. According to the New York Daily News, the creator of the "Boycott Oreo" Facebook page wrote, "No. I do not hate gay people. I am not a 'homophobe' … I am against the lifestyle choice, however. It goes against Biblical principals and against how nature intended… I refuse to support the lifestyle or what Oreo/Kraft is doing. So I have decided to not buy their products."

Like the gay Oreo cookie or hate it, you can't deny that the whole thing has been a huge PR success for Kraft Nabisco. It reminds me of the firestorm of controversy that erupted when Coca-Cola announced it was withdrawing the classic X7 formula and forcing "New Coke" down our throats -- literally. After their allegedly market-driven reversal of that decision, I asked an acquaintance (a VP at one of Coke's international divisions) if the whole thing wasn't just a gigantic publicity stunt. "No," he replied. "We're not that smart."

New fat bomb hits California

Americans continue to hold top spot in the world obesity rankings. Apparently they like it that way, in spite of having to squeeze their enormous butts into airplane seats designed for willowy Asian girls, and having to ignore mooing noises as they waddle one-abreast down Main Street USA.

If Americans didn't enjoy being fat, why would people like Charlie Boghosian -- owner of Chicken Charlie's -- keep dreaming up new fat foods, like deep-fried Kool Aid balls, made with flour, water and cherry-flavored Kool Aid.

But deep-fried Kool Aid is soooo 2011. This year the fat-filled treat that can't be beat is... wait for it... deep-fried cereal! The latest fat bomb, made with Trix or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, debuted at the San Diego fair earlier this month. Charlie tops the grease-balls with syrup and a few pieces of cereal.

Sadly, Charlie's balls debuted to discouraging reviews. Shauntel Lowe (who looks as if she might know a thing or two about the matter of which we speak) wrote: "When I was trying the deep-fried Cinnamon Toast Crunch, the pool of grease in the bottom of the basket made me clutch my heart a little. The doughy ball of greasy cereal wasn't bad, but it definitely isn't something I'd go out of my way to buy. [My taste-testing partner] Candace called the Trix edition 'disappointing'."

Perhaps Shauntel and Candace should have tried something more wholesome, like Charlie's deep-fried avocados or deep-fried Girl Scout cookies. Really. You can look it up.

Further reading on WWW:
"Showers for those who can't see their toes" -- I couldn't figure out why people keep looking at this post until I had another look and saw the picture Ed. chose.
"Disney anti-obesity show: what you WON'T see" -- If you're going to see the Mouse this summer, check this out.
"FAT in life, FAT in death" -- Don't worry. When you fatten yourself to death on deep-fried cereal, they won't have to bury you in a dumpster. You might have trouble squeezing through those pearly gates though.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cardinal non grata?

In the bad old daze of the Soviet Union, Kremlin-watchers used to keep careful track of who appeared at public meetings of the inner circles of the Communist Party. At events such as the annual May Day parade, who was on the reviewing platform and where they stood (literally) told you their position in the power structure. If someone who was once close (literally) to the top guy is suddenly notable by his absence, that told you something.

The Soviet Politburo was a model of transparency compared with the Roman Curia, the inner circle of cardinals who oversee the work of the Roman Catholic Church. You have to keep your eyes open to see who has the pope's ear, who's pulling the strings, and who's packing his bags.

There has been a lot of fast toing and froing since the breaking of the Vatileaks scandal in May. And a number of very important and very secret meetings too, including a number of special audiences with Pope Benedict XVI. A number of high-ranking officials have been called into the principal's office, so to speak, to do some `splainin'.

L'Osservatore Romano has just confirmed an unprecedented audience given by the Holy Father on Saturday last to Cardinals George Pell, Marc Ouellet (rumoured to be a top contender for the top spot), Jean-Louis Tauran, Camillo Ruini and Jozef Tomko.

Not among those invited to meet with the pope was Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, who is either the mastermind behind the conspiracy or the victim of the conspiracy, depending on whether you believe him or someone else. Bertone's non-attendance is being interpreted by Vaticanistas as a signal that his day as second-in-command to the pope are just about over. Traditional Catholics and devotees of Our Lady of Fatima would say Bertone's ouster is long overdue.

Beyond the question of whether and when Benedict XVI will decide to replace his closest collaborator, there's an increasingly cogent question of whether or not Bertone's successor could or should be a non-Italian. Except for the few months during which French Cardinal Jean Villot was Secretary of State, at the beginning of the pontificate of John Paul II, there has never been a time when the pope and the secretary of state were both non-Italian.

The idea of having a "foreign" secretary of state finds its justification in the desire to purify the Vatican of what Sandro Magister calls the "Italian intrigues" at the bottom of Vatileaks. Many think the Vatileaks question could have consequences for the future selection of a new pontiff. In fact, the idea that the leaking of documents is the result of Italian intrigues has led to the emergence of two scenarios.

On the one hand there are those who think that it would be better that a future pope not come from Italy. It is for this reason that the name of Cardinal Ouellet is being mentioned, since a North American would be good, but a born-in-the-USA American not so good. On the other hand, there are those who say that it would be better that the pope come from Italy, since only an Italian could understand, let alone unmask and eradicate the intrigues.

For the moment, such discussions remain purely academic. At the time of his elevation, it was thought that Benedict XVI was chosen to be a caretaker, for a short time, pending the emergence of a more worthy successor to John Paul II. Those who took that view evidently failed to remember Leo XIII, who was chosen, after the long pontificate of Pius IX, because he was rather elderly according to the criteria of the time. Leo lived to the age of 93.

More to the point, Leo was possessed of a keen intellect in spite of his "advancing years". In 1891 he issued his famous encyclical Rerum Novarum. This remarkable document -- which modernists in the Church seem to have forgotten about -- gave the Church's response to the class conflict which had risen in the wake of industrialization, and which led to the rise of socialism.

In Rerum Novarum, Leo taught that the role of the state is to promote social justice through the protection of rights, while the Church must speak out on social issues in order to teach correct social principles and ensure class harmony. He restated the Church's long-standing teaching regarding the crucial importance of private property rights, but recognized that the free operation of market forces must be tempered by moral considerations.

Rerum Novarum would be good reading for the leaders of today's world. But don't count on secular humanists like Hollande, Obama and the rest to take it to bed with them any time soon.

Footnote: Walt's updates on what's happening in the Vaticank and in the Church are posted for Father Bill and all others interested in the preservation of the traditional Catholic Faith. This post is based on an article by Sandro Magister, in Chiesa.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Death by cactus: a prickly situation in Arizona

Hot news from Arizona! No, Walt isn't talking about yesterday's Supreme Court decision. Looks to me as if that was pretty much a draw. The immigration mess isn't going to be sorted out by the courts. To do that will take a courageous politician with some real cojones -- not someone who's afraid of alienating the aliens!

No. Walt is referring to a sad story in the Yuma News. A city worker is in intensive care today after being crushed nearly to death by a 16-foot saguaro cactus.

Sounds like something out of a Warner Bros. cartoon, doesn't it? But it's true. William Mason, of Yuma, was responding to an emergency water leak -- whether out of the cactus or elsewhere is not clear -- when he was struck by the spiny plant. His colleagues were able to free him and call emergency services after the freak accident. At least they're calling it an accident! Who knows for sure?

Saguaro cacti, common in the US south-west, can weigh thousands of pounds, depending on how much water they hold. Yuma city officials say Mr Mason remains in hospital after suffering serious injuries, including to his back and legs. Doctors have removed about 150 spines from his far.

In spite of rain, sleet, snow... or crows?

Here's what you don't want to see if you're a mailman ["letter-carrier" please. Ed.] going on your daily rounds. It's an angry crow, about to defend its nest.

For the past couple of weeks, a hammer of crows have been attacking letter-carriers and dog-walkers in a suburb of Winterpeg ["Winnipeg" please. Ed.] -- the dead centre of Canada [You can say that twice. Ed.] -- as they attempt to protect young chicks.

Canada Post, ever-mindful of the safety of its workers -- both of them -- suspended mail service to the area after one too many aerial attacks. Residents were told in a letter that the disruption was due to "aggressive crows". How the letter would have reached the householders is something of a mystery.

A spokesthingy for CanPost said, "We’re just trying to keep our carrier safe. He’s been ducking out of the way, they haven’t hit him yet, but it’s been very close. Birds are not a normal hazard in the delivery business."

Wildlife specialists say that humans fall into the predator category for birds, especially if the person is walking a dog or cat on a leash. Birds actively defend their young for up to a week after they are born, longer if the young birds struggle to fly.

So what do you do? Manitoba's ministry responsible for conservation and annoying wildlife says you could wear a hat with large eyes painted on the back, since most birds will not approach the front of a predator. Sounds like good advice. I must run right out and get one... just in case...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Faster deportation of foreign criminals gets unlikely endorsement

Canada has two self-proclaimed English-language "national newspapers". One is the National Post, founded by Conrad Black, formerly Lord Black of Cross Harbour. The Daily Tubby -- as the paper is still called in his honour -- is markedly conservative, in emulation of Britain's Daily Torygraph [Telegraph, surely. Ed.] which Mr. Black also owned at one time.

The doyen of Canada's lamestream media, however, is the good grey Globe and Mail, often referred to in Walt's World. Its predecessor, the Globe, was founded in 1844 by Scottish immigrant George Brown, one of the Fathers of Confederation. Brown was a small-l liberal, and began the paper as an organ for his Reform Party. In the 19th century it spoke for progressive thinkers, choosing for its motto: "The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures." The quotation is carried on the Globe's editorial page to this day.

In the 20th century, the Globe somehow lost its modern, progressive bearings, and became the champion of conservatism -- politically, economically and culturally -- the voice of the establishment.

Yet the Globe couldn't hold back the tide of liberalism that rolled over Canada -- or at least Toronto -- in the hippy-dippy 60s. Historian David Hayes says its editorials in this period "took a benign view of hippies and homosexuals; championed most aspects of the welfare state; opposed, after some deliberation, the Vietnam War; and supported legalizing marijuana." It was a 1967 Globe and Mail editorial that coined the phrase "The State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation," in defence of legalization of homosexuality. The line was later picked up by Pierre Trudeau and became one of the future Prime Minister's most-quoted slogans.

To this day, the Groan and Wail is the undisputed champion of the chattering classes and the Volvo liberals -- the rich Rosedale socialites who delight in helping the poor and downtrodden of every country except Canada, and -- in Canada -- every bullied, "disadvantaged" and "at risk" minority they can touch with a bargepole.

[That's quite enough introduction. Get on with it! Ed.]

OK... all of this is to say that Walt was not surprised when the Mop and Flail (thank you, Richard J. Needham) somehow couldn't find enough space last week to devote even one column inch to the Canadian government's proposed Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. Walt told you about it on June 20th, but from 444 Front Street West came nary a word.

One reason for the profound silence could be that the Globe, to its credit, has a lively and only lightly moderated comments section following most articles -- except those that its politically correct editorial board deems unfit for the common people to discuss, such as black crime or bogus refugees. It could be that the editors didn't want to run the FRFCA story at all because they knew they'd get about 1000 comments approving the legislation for every one advocating more hugging of hoodies.

Walt is pleased to say that the Globe's editors have at last weighed in on the subject. After considerable thought -- and sticking its collective finger out the window to see which way the wind was blowing -- the G&M has pronounced itself in favour of the new law. "Kenney is right to speed up deportations", today's editorial says!

I wanted to reprint the entire editorial, but Ed. tells me we're out of space. Click here to read it. And note the concluding sentence: The tiny share of immigrants and refugees who lack citizenship and are convicted of serious crimes on Canadian soil forfeit their right to be here.

Couldn't agree more. But what if not just Canada, but the USA, UK, France, Germany etc. took such measures? Where would all the gangstas, drug dealers, pimps and honour killers go? Back to the third world -- that's where!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Forgetful or advertising? British officer defines "regimental"

In the USA they call it "going commando". In Scots regiments of the Royal Army, it's known as proper "regimental" attire. You have to be careful how you sit, though... unless you're advertising!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Follower of "the religion of peace" cuts an apostate's throat - VIDEO


What follows is a snuff video. Walt advises you to NOT watch it too soon before or after a meal. What you will see -- if you can stand it -- is a tight close-up of a Muslim cutting the throat of a young man who had the temerity to convert to Christianity. According to Sharia law, that's the crime of apostasy.

If you looked away, here's what you missed, as summarized by Raymond Ibrahim (a Muslim) on the Gatestone Institute's website.

A young man appears held down by masked men. His head is pulled back, with a knife to his throat. He does not struggle and appears resigned to his fate. Speaking in Arabic, the background speaker, or "narrator," chants a number of Muslim prayers and supplications, mostly condemning Christianity, which, because of the Trinity, is referred to as a polytheistic faith: "Let Allah be avenged on the polytheist apostate"; "Allah empower your religion, make it victorious against the polytheists"; "Allah, defeat the infidels at the hands of the Muslims," and "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."

Then, to cries of "Allahu Akbar!"— Allah is greater!"—the masked man holding the knife to the apostate's throat begins to slice away, severing the head completely after approximately one minute of graphic knife-carving, as the victim drowns in blood. Finally, the severed head is held aloft to more Islamic slogans of victory

Strong stuff, eh. But that's how "the religion of peace" treats those who renounce their faith. According to Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian Salafi leader -- referring to the canonical hadiths, including Muhammad's command, "Whoever leaves his religion, kill him" -- recently stated that no Muslim has the right to leave Islam.

What's interesting is that the video, and the concept of death for apostasy, has received little negative comment in the Muslim world. Muslims seem to regard this barbarity as "normal" under Sharia law -- along with "honour killing", stoning of adulterers, hanging of homosexuals, lashings for "un-Islamic" conduct, and so on.

Yet leaders of of other world religions -- even the Pope, who should know better -- are very careful not to utter any politically incorrect thoughts about Islam. Is Islam primitive, barbaric and evil? Oh no, it's just another way of approaching God! Christians and Jews must respect Muslims and their heathen ways in the name of diversity!

The PC stance nowadays is all for false ecumenism and against any suggestion that one faith is superior to another. We must all learn to get along together. That's the "spirit of Assisi", for which Pope John Paul II and his successor have been very rightly criticized by traditional Christians.

In truth, the "spirit of Assisi" is the heresy of relativism. Catholics who've never heard about this are invited to e-mail Walt for more information.

However, knowing a good thing when he sees it, Walt is going to set up a registered charity to collect money for more "ecumenical outreach" programmes to welcome our Muslim brethren -- and their customs and their religion -- into our formerly Christian society. We could call it "Drawing All Faiths Together".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Canucks to deport "foreign" criminals. Really!

Earlier today Walt posted an item which poked a little fun at Canada's Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, for calling an Alberta minister "a complete and utter asshole". You have to give the man credit, though, for telling it the way he sees it. As he did today when he introduced legislation which give him sweeping powers to deport "foreign" (i.e. non-Canadian) criminals, and to deny entry to "visitors" for pretty much any reason.

The new legislation, if passed unamended, would make it easier for the government to deport refugees, permanent residents and visitors for "serious criminality" -- crimes punishable by six months or more as guests of Her Majesty. Mr. Kenney told a CBC interviewer, "I think you can call them dangerous, you can call them serious, we don't want them in Canada anymore, and that's the bottom line."

He went on to say, "If you are a foreign national and you want the privilege of staying in Canada, don't commit a serious crime.… I don't think that's too much to ask people." Walt is having trouble hearing this afternoon, having been deafened by the sound of applause from coast to coast to coast.

The proposed law would also take away the rather overworked appeals to "humanitarian and compassionate grounds" as factors in appealing a decision that someone is inadmissible to Canada. Mr. Kenney's spokesthingy [Alexis Pavlich again? Ed.] said there are 2747 people with convictions appealing to the Immigration Appeal Division to be able to stay in Canada. According to numerous public opinion polls, most Canadians don't find these criminals so appealing, and would be glad to see the back of them.

Other proposed changes under the Canadian immigration laws include:
* A rule that would deny an appeal to those with foreign convictions for crimes that would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in Canada.
* A rule that would deny entry to Canada to those with a family member inadmissible for security and human rights reasons -- ex-dictators, for instance -- or organized crime connections, even if that family member isn't travelling with them.
* A five-year inadmissibility period for lying on immigration applications.
* Reporting conditions for those under deportation orders.
* Automatic inadmissibility for non-Canadians and permanent residents for acts of espionage or acts "against Canada's interests".

In last year's federal election campaign platform, the Conservatives promised to streamline deportations of foreign criminals. Here's what their campaign literature said:
"It often takes years to deport even dangerous foreign criminals from Canada. In some cases, foreign criminals and terrorists here have evaded removal for over a decade as they exploit endless appeals and loopholes. Canadians expect that foreign criminals will get due process before being removed, but not an endless abuse of our generosity."

And here's what Mr. Kenney said today. "If you commit a serious crime in Canada, we are going to send you packing as quickly as we can." Wow. How long have Canadians been waiting to hear that?!

The long overdue reform of Canada's frighteningly liberal immigration rules counts as an election promise kept. Wonder how such a promise would play in Peoria.

Alberta politician not "a complete and utter asshole" after all

Walt is still in the Great White North -- "white" as in "white-hot" -- studying Canadian politics, amongst other things. Today's topic is federal-provincial relations, specifically relations between the federal government of "Call me Steve" Harpoon and the government of the province of Alberta.

Readers in Alberta and elsewhere will rejoice to know that there is a "positive working relationship between the Alberta and federal governments". So says the Hon. Jason "Jason" Kenney, federal Minister of Immigration, through Alexis Pavlich, one of the minister's fart-catchers.

Mr. Pavlich had rather a large whiffer to smother this week, owing to the revelation by the Edmonton Journal that his boss has sent a rather embarrassing e-mail to his colleagues in the federal Conservative Party's Alberta caucus. One Alberta MP, Blaine Calkins, had circulated an invitation to meet with Alberta's Deputy Premier, Thomas Lukaszuk, when Ukie Tom came to Ottawa for a little recreation and politicking.

Apparently it was the Hon. Mr. Kenney's feeling that... well, here's what he said. "I say a definite 'no' to Lukaszyk [sic]. I don't t hink it makes sense to create a precedent to do a special caucus meeting for every visiting minister from the provincial government. Plus he is a complete and utter asshole."

That was last week. This week (according to Alexis) Mr. Kenney has apologized (privately) to Mr. Lukaszuk, withdraws any suggestion of completeness and agrees that Mr. Lukaszuk (or at least his name) is unutterable. He also promised to spell Mr. Lukaszuk's name correctly in future.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Latest Toronto murder victim not a nagger

Agent 3, who was born in Toronto, asks me to point out that the man shot in broad daylight yesterday at a sidewalk cafe in Toronto was not, errr, black. Nor are police rounding up the usual (black) suspects.

The incident happened Monday afternoon, during the Ireland vs Italy "football" match, at the Sicilian Ice Cream Shop. Neighbours identified the decesased as 35-year-old John Raposo. According to the Toronto Sun, another source said the deliberately-targeted slaying was likely personal, not tied to organized crime. Errr, yeah...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Toddler, 3, murdered: mother charged

Walt is saddened -- truly -- to pass along some news from Mississauga, a bedroom community at the west end of the Greater [sic] Toronto Area. Today, a Mississauga mom was charged with murder in last fall's "previously unexplained" death of her three-year-old daughter.

Those who know the ethnic makeup of Mississauga have already jumped to a conclusion. Not too far to jump, nor without reason.

35-year-old Nandini Jha brought her daughter, Niyati, in to a Mississauga medical clinic on 20 September 2011. The child was immediately sent to Toronto's renowned Sick Children's Hospital, where she died the next day of head and brain injuries.

Niyati was the second daughter born to Nandini, who, with her husband and the two girls, arrived in Canada in 2010. At the time of Niyati's death, her mother was expecting a third child, which turned out to be another girl. The whereabouts of the two surviving daughters has not been disclosed.

Oh... yes... the Jhas immigrated from India.

Why am I telling you this? Since someone has already asked, let me explainly, quickly and bluntly. The point is that in Indian culture, girl children are not valued. And just because Indians migrate to a country and culture where killing little girls is regarded as barbaric does not mean that they will change their culture. That's it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Study finds France and Netherlands most intolerant of Islamization

As you may have gathered from this morning's post, Walt is north of the world's longest undefended border this week. I may not be able to post as often as I might wish. Canadian internet and mobile charges are shocking, compared with those in the USA.

Perusing the Canadian media today, I came across an excellent article in the very liberal and PC Toronto Star. In "The new Europe: alone, together", Andrew Chung presents a lengthy (for the Star) analysis of attitudes to the flood of Muslim immigrants which has already inundated European cities such as Paris and Amsterdam.

Seems Europeans dislike being "Islamized" even more than do North Americans. According to the article, the Council of Europe, the guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights -- as long as you're not talking about rights for Christians -- has warned about a "drastic growth of hostility" toward Muslims throughout Europe. In other findings, the Council has determined that the Pope is Catholic and bears really do defecate in the woods.

The most anti-multicultural (meaning anti-Muslim) countries of "the new Europe" are France and the Netherlands. So says Prof. Keith Banting, of Queen’s University. (Interesting that Banting's "Multiculturalism Policy Index" should have been developed at Queen's, located in Kingston, ON -- one of the WASPiest cities of North America.)

Prof. Banting's index gives France's attitude to Muslim immigrants a score of 2 out of a possible 8. That puts France right down there with the Netherlands, also scoring 2 -- down from 5.5 in Y2K. Sweden is the most Muslim-friendly country of those studied, with a score of 7.5 out of 8. But remember, the study is talking of official government multiculti policies, not the feelings of your average Swede or Canadian. (Even under its Conservative regime, Canada scored a very liberal 7.)

Even in liberal and progressive Sweden, people are heard muttering darkly (geddit?) about the need for more "selective" immigration policies, like those being adopted by the Canadian government. "Skill-based immigrant selection" lessens the need for more repressive integration policies, says Dr. Christian Joppke, of the University of Bern, Switzerland (of course) in a new position paper.

The good doctor says Europe should begin to "select the 'right' immigrants". [Better check the transcript. Was that an "r" or a "w"? Ed.] All the same, the Star article quotes Dr. Joppke as saying Europe would still have a problem even if it adopts Canadian-style policies. He says most skilled immigrants prefer to come to Canada or the USA, where they get immediate welfare benefits and almost instant citizenship.

By contrast, he describes European countries as "settled, ethnic societies" where immigration is seen as a peripheral phenomenon and not widely liked. A master of understatement, that Dr. Joppke.

War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations: has anything been learned?

The first shots -- purely rhetorical -- in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812 have been fired. At the historic battlefield of Queenston Heights, Ontario, yesterday, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (and winner of the Steve Harper Prize for Excellence in Drafting Terms of Reference) launched "1000 days of commemorations" of the first war started and lost by the USA.

Perhaps because it was not a Great American Victory [like Vietnam? Ed.], the War of 1812 is not well known in the Excited States. War was declared by President Madison on June 18th, on the advice of many political and military notables, including President Jefferson who opined that the annexation of Canada -- that being the point of the exercise -- was "merely a matter of marching".

As in Vietnam, Iraq and, now, Afghanistan, it turned out to be not so easy. The United States was not prepared to prosecute a war. Madison had assumed that the state militias would easily seize Canada and that negotiations would follow. In 1812, the US Army comprised fewer than 12,000 men. Congress authorized its expansion to 35,000, but the service was voluntary and unpopular. It offered poor pay, and there were few trained and experienced officers.

The militia objected to serving outside their home states, were not open to discipline, and performed poorly against British forces when outside their home states. One of the first places this lesson was learned was at Queenston, in October of 1812, when units of the New York militia refused to cross the Niagara River to join in the invasion.

All the same, enough Americans scaled Queenston Heights to overpower a small British force and capture its gun. The British, led by Major General Isaac Brock, counter-attacked. Brock, unwisely dressed in his full-dress uniform replete with gold braid, made an easy target for American sharp-shooters as he ran up the hill, and perished.

However, his 2IC, General Roger Hale Sheaffe, arrived with reinforcements -- British regulars, Canadian militia and a large number of "Indians" (as "First Nations" people were then called), whom the Americans feared greatly for their interest in scalp-collecting.

The men in red (and green and tan and assorted other colours) handed the Americans a crushing defeat, which will be re-enacted this fall. In his address yesterday, the Governor General expressed the hope that, in the spirit of friendship between the two countries, the Americans would refrain from using live ammunition. [Ed. Please check this; I didn't really listen to the speech.] Nevertheless, as they always sing in their national anthem, the Canadians will "stand on guard".

Footnote: Major General Brock became "Sir" Isaac Brock only after his death, being knighted posthumously. A very tall monument on Queenston Heights is surmounted by a statue of Brock, looking watchfully across the river -- standing on guard, no doubt. The only statue dedicated to General Sheaffe -- who actually won the battle -- is a small one...of his horse.

Another footnote: On June 15th, Canada Post issued two stamps, one showing "Sir Isaac Brock" and the other his great Indian ally, Tecumseh. The inscription on the marginal tab (above Tecumseh) says "They protected territories from American expansionism". Indeed.

Recommended reading: Two entertaining pop histories by Pierre Berton: The Invasion of Canada (covering the period 1812-13) and Flames Across the Border (1813-14). In the latter, you can read how the Americans routed the Brits from Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and burned the village to the ground. Of course you'll also have to read about the British and Canadian burning of Buffalo. Niagara-on-the-Lake was rebuilt and is today a very pretty little town. As for Buffalo... well...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sex-selective abortion: there oughta be a law!

Yesterday, in "Mainstream media suddenly discover sex-selective abortion is wrong", Walt gave you links to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's very good investigative journalism piece on the use in Canada of "entertainment ultrasounds". Women of the Indo-Canadian and other Asian communities get tested as early as 14 weeks into their pregnancies so, if the fetus is female, they can kill it.

Am I speaking too plainly here? Monte Sonnenberg, a columnist for the QMI Agency, doesn't think so. Here, in its entirety, is his piece headed "Gender-specific abortion should be against the law", published earlier this week

The Harper government's willingness to address the defects of multiculturalism is one of its strong suits. This government is the first in decades to stand up for core Canadian values in the face of foreign customs that are at variance with them. At last, a cohesive Canada where integration is the rule--not the exception --enjoys priority.

Unfortunately, the vigilance we have come to expect from this government tends to focus on a common theme: the mistreatment of women. This government has spoken out against honour killings and oppressive dress codes that marginalize women. It also enforces laws against female genital mutilation. One of the compelling mandates that keeps Canada in Afghanistan is the horrid treatment of women there at the hands of primitive, barbaric men.

Now Ottawa faces a new challenge. Thanks to ultrasound technology, the medical profession today can tell the gender of unborn children early in a pregnancy. Responsible clinics refuse to divulge test results before the 20-week mark, which normally marks the closure of the window for elective abortions.

However, old ways die hard. Evidence is emerging that many ultrasound clinics are only too happy to release these results far in advance of the 20-week threshold. These clinics cater to new Canadians who hail from countries where the birth of a boy is cause for celebration while girls are often regarded as a burden. There have been reports of expectant mothers coerced into abortions on the basis of these test results. This is offensive and has to stop.

The feminist lobby has neutralized itself on this issue due to its all-in support for abortion on demand. Those who traditionally speak for women fear opening a floodgate if they speak up for unborn girls.

Someone needs to step into the breach. Only the federal government will do, for the situation calls for Criminal Code amendments to prohibit aiding and abetting gender-specific abortions. Something of the kind is urgently needed. No one likes to interfere with the internal workings of a family. But Canadians will not tolerate callous practices and attitudes that have given rise to ludicrous gender imbalances in some of the world's most populous nations.

Well said, Monte! If you agree with Monte (and Walt), write to your MP (if you're Canadian), and be sure to send a copy to Stephen Woodworth, Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre, who is fighting courageously to get the abortion issue back on the House of Commons order paper. The mailing address for all MPs is: House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6 -- and you don't need a stamp!

Further reading from Walt's previous posts: "In what way is Canada like India?", "Prime Minister calls abortion 'murder'"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mainstream media suddenly discover sex-selective abortion is wrong

Live Action has been campaigning against "sex-selective abortions". That's the euphemism for the killing of baby girls in their mothers' wombs. As Walt told you in "Planned Parenthood caught TWICE promoting sex-selective abortion" on June 1st, they've been posting under-cover videos of Planned Parenthood "counsellors" in NY, TX and now AZ telling women how to arrange for the "procedure". "Planned Parenthood" = "planned baby-killing".

Following the lead of the American media [Isn't that always the way? Ed.] Canada's state-owned broadcaster, the CBC, decided to do a little under-cover journalism of its own. They went to visit a number of "recreational ultrasound clinics", where women can go to have a look at the baby inside them. If the baby is old enough -- 14 weeks or older -- it's possible to see his or her genitalia and thus discover the baby's gender.

In theory, the "clinics" should not do the ultrasound on women earlier than the 20th week of pregnancy, after which point an abortion -- if the women didn't want a baby girl, for instance -- would be inadvisable... although, in Canada, not illegal.

In practice, the CBC found, the majority of "clinics" it visited were happy to take the money and do the ultrasound up to six weeks earlier, knowing full well that the purpose was not "entertainment" but to do determine the gender of the baby so baby girls could be got rid of. "Oh, no, madam... you surely don't want another girl!" Click here to read "Fetal gender testing offered at private clinics" and see the video "Unnatural selection".

In the subtitle to the website page, the CBC says its report "raises fears that gender selection happening in Canada". Well, DUUHHH! As the report points out (rather quietly) the women who avail themselves of the "entertainment ultrasounds" have a definite purpose which goes beyond "oh, let's see the cute baby and admire it's tiny hands and feet".

Another point the CBC kind of glosses over, although it's the elephant in the room, is that sex-selective abortions are most prevalent in certain "ethnic communities" in the Toronto and Vancouver areas. Communities of Asian immigrants, to be more specific. To be more specific still, it's done by Chinese, Korean and -- especially -- "south Asian" (Indian, Pakistani, etc) immigrants.

Why do they do this? Don't they know sex-selective abortion is the cold-blooded slaughter of innocents? The CBC says there are "cultural pressures" at play here, so we mustn't make a big deal of it because to do so would be, errr, racist. Besides, the mothers are oppressed by their husbands and in-laws, and are afraid they'll be beaten or burned or (horrors) divorced and sent back to India.

True enough, and very brave of the ultra-PC CBC to say so. But, you may ask, do these women -- and their babies -- not have any protection under the law? Do they have to submit to abortions on their husbands' demand? Is there nowhere they can turn for help? Apparently not. Tomorrow we'll have a comment from a Canadian blogger.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

US diplomatic cable calls African-born head of state "not intellectually well-developed"

Shame on you if you thought the headline refers to the US head of state! The quote is from an American diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, and refers to King Mswati III of Swaziland.

His Royal Higness has been mentioned here before, in "Where next? Swaziland next?", which for some reason leads all other posts in the number of hits. Ed. regrets that he has not yet been able to find a picture of Africa's last absolute monarch, so we'll have to make do with this old photo of some of the king's subjects dancing for his entertainment.

King Mswati was mentioned in this week's Economist. Their analysis says that Swaziland, which was in a mess at this time last year, is in less of a mess now. This has nothing to do with the policies or efforts of the king, who continues to lead a life of ease, even though two-thirds of his 1,200,000 subjects subsist on less than $2 a day.

Perhaps it's not really a "life of ease". Mswati has a dozen wives, more or less, and that can't be easy. Still, he is ranked by Forbes as the 15th-richest reigning monarch in the world. The Economist calls him "profligate but widely revered".

Those closer to the king are less flattering in their descriptions. According to the leaked cable, a former royal advisor described Mswati as "unbalanced", and "not intellectually well-developed". In addition, he is said to be "influenced by witchcraft". [Ed., please check to be sure they're not talking about Comrade Bob Mugabe. Zimbabwe isn't far from Swaziland, is it?]

Another half-brother quotes one of Mswati's several half-brothers as saying he was surrounded by "dishonest, uneducated people" who are "giving him bad advice". [Ed., no need to check this reference. The same could be said of any African leader of any African country.]

But, the Economist advises, we should not cry for Swaziland. ...nothing truly horrific is going on. There may be the odd suspicious death in custody, but no mass killings or other grave atrocities. Little Swaziland has no big deposits of gold, diamonds or oil to covet. No civil war is threatening the region. So it [may safely be] left to its own devices, while the world looks the other way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Muslim solidarity not much in evidence in south Asia

Here's one you may have missed because -- be honest -- when you see "Bangladesh" in the headline don't you flip frantically to the funny pages? Anyhow, AP reports this afternoon that three (count `em -- three!) boatloads of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Burma [Not Myanmar? Which is it today? Ed.] have been turned away by neighbouring Bangladesh. About 1500 refugees have been denied entry so far, and more are on the way.

Police official Janagir Alam told AP "They have been chased away. We are keeping our eyes open so that nobody can enter Bangladesh illegally."

And Bangladesh's Foreign Minister, Dipu Moni, said at a news conference in Dhaka that it was not in his country's interest to accept any refugees because the impoverished nation's meagre resources are already strained. And even when it's strained, you can't eat hemp, eh.

Am I the only one who finds it more than ironic that a Muslim country should refuse to accept Muslim refugees? What's wrong with those people, anyway?! Possibly their boats were not equipped with compasses, otherwise they would surely have made their way to "Christian" Canada, where they would have been welcomed with open arms, and immediately given houses, cars and extra cash for imported rice so they wouldn't feel homesick.

Footnote: Violence between Buddhists and minority Muslims in western Myanmar [Burma? Ed.] started on Friday. Since then at least 12 people have been killed and hundreds of homes burned. The cause of the violence? At least one report cites the alleged rape of a Buddhist girl by three Muslim men, which prompted a revenge attack by about 300 Buddhists on a busful of Muslims, killing 10 of the latter. Sounds more like Pakistan than Burma, but some say you can expect that kind of trouble wherever you have a sizeable Muslim community. Like Burma. Or India. Or Indonesia. Or... errr... hmmm...

Further reading: "How can we be silent in the face of Islamization of our country?"

Victory for free speech - Canadian Human Rights Act s. 13 repealed!

Not exactly front-page news, but good news all the same from north of the world's longest undefended (?) border. Ezra Levant reports in today's Toronto Sun that Section 13 of Canada's Human Right Act -- the "hate speech" section -- is coming off the books.

S. 13 is the notorious provision of the CHRA that made it a crime to publish anything "likely to expose a person … to hatred or contempt". Read Mr. Levant's column for an explanation of why progressive thinkers in the Trudeau Liberal government of the day -- pushed by the now-defunct Canadian Jewish Congress and a commission headed by a chap named Cohen -- considered it necessary to criminalize political correctness.

That was done in 1977. For more than 30 years, Section 13 had a 100% conviction rate for the thought crime of hurting someone’s feelings. One of the most notorious prosecutions was that of internationally respected author Mark Steyn, who had the temerity to quote a Muslim leader to the effect that the Islamization of the West might not be such a good thing. The words complained of weren't even Steyn's own!

In today's column, Levant calls the law abusive, un-Canadian, and " the age of the Internet". And now it's on its way out. Last Wednesday Canada's House of Commons voted in favour of Bill C-304, a private member’s bill which Walt predicted last November would pass. Lifetime pct .990.

Following royal assent, and a one-year phase-in period, Section 13 will be history, pulled out (Levant writes) like a noxious weed. Good for the Canucks. Pretty soon they'll be as advanced as the Americans, whose constitution has protected free speech since, errr, the 18th century.

Further reading: "Good riddance to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act", by Jonathan Kay in the National Post.

Surfing up the proverbial creek... in Ireland?

Walt is pleased to welcome back -- from parts unknown -- Agent 46, who hasn't been heard from for a long time. She sends along this picture postcard, perhaps by way of letting us know where she's been.

Sadly, Walt has not been able to get confirmation of the exact longitude and latitude of Shit Creek. The best we've been able to do is this map, according to which Shit Creek would be somewhere on the Auld Sod.

According to a website for surfers, it's in County Clare, and is "an exposed reef break that has fairly consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. The best wind direction is from the east. Waves just as likely from local windswells as from distant groundswells and the best swell direction is from the west. Right and better left hand reef breaks. Best around mid tide."

The article says there are relatively few surfers there, even on good days. No kidding...

Monday, June 11, 2012

"White House accused of leaking national intelligence"

Now there is a headline to conjure with. Walt is tempted to ask if the leak is worse now than it was in Dubya's time. And how much has leaked? Are we down a quart... or more???

The headline appeared on Yahoo! this afternoon, and it turns out to be a teaser for an interview John McCain gave to Fox News. Senator McCain is understandably critical of Al O'Bama and his entire administration. He calls his present role "doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan". Indeed.

Will the next pope be a Canadian? Vatican insider thinks so

Surprising speculation from the panting heart of Rome! Noted Vaticanista Sandro Magister has just published a "classroom exercise" in which he predicts the next pope will be a cardinal from the New World. In yesterday's Chiesa, he wrote:

The metamorphosis underway in Catholicism worldwide is such that, if one wished to do a classroom exercise, the candidate for pope who most corresponds to it today is without a doubt Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, multilingual, the former archbishop of Québec, which is one of the most secularized regions of the planet, a talented theologian of the Ratzingerian school, now the prefect of the Vatican congregation that selects new bishops, and above all for many years a missionary in Latin America.

Sr Magister's argument, concluded by that paragraph, is that the Church in Europe is moribund -- no argument there -- but "coming back strong" in the United States and growing by leaps and bounds in Asia and Latin America.

Walt confesses to being surprised by Sr Magister's rose-tinted view of the state of the Church in the USA. Some of the most poisoned fruits of Vatican II have been harvested in the USA. I refer to "clown masses" and other liturgical abuses, the plague of perverted priests and bishops and the ensuing cover-ups, the ferocious feminism and the general prevalence of "cafeteria Catholicism" amongst those -- espeically poewr-hungry politicians -- who have the nerve to call themselves "practising Catholics".

It's enough to make you think that the mainstream Church in the USA -- the majority of Catholics who accept Vatican II and all its errors -- has surrendered completely to the philosophies and forces of secular humanism.

But then, just when a traditionalist might be on the brink of despair, along comes a true leader like Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, who has the courage to stick his head above the parapet and stand up for the freedom of the Catholic Church to preach and practise Her Faith as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Just last month, Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, did the same thing, in the face of the Ontario government's forcing Catholics to make room in their schools for "gay-straight alliances", so called. The "anti-bullying" bill -- truly a bullying bill in disguise -- is now law, but the Cardinal made his stand and made his point. Catholic voters won't forget.

So, perhaps Sr Magister is right. Even in the namby-pamby mainstream Church, which tries so hard to be politically correct and not offend apostates, heretics and infidels, there are some who are beginning to say we have gone too far down the road to a secular, humanist, post-Christian society. If one of them is chosen to fill the shoes of St. Peter, so much the better for the Church and for the world.

Nos lecteurs d'expression française sont priés de lire "Exercice d'école sur l'identité du prochain pape".

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book review: Canuck takes an irreverent look at the Great War

Ed. here. Walt has been MIA for a couple of days, and it's only now that I can tell you why. Seems he set out on Friday to organize and catalogue his library, and came across some interesting books which he stopped to read. These included How to Carve Fertility Symbols, and a slim volume of Chinese water colours (a gift from Agent 88) illustrating flexio gallinacea, inversio palligrada, saltus subversum and other unusual attitudes.

Cognizant, however, of his self-imposed duty to provide something for our readers to peruse, Walt has sent the following review of another book... well, a series of books, actually. It came tied around the neck of a large mouse (or small rat) which makes its home in the wall between the library and the cubbyhole which passes for my office.

Imagine a young man possessed of the physical and mental attitudes of four fictional characters: Forrest Gump (of the eponymous movie); Private Will Stockdale (the bumpkin turned soldier played by Andy Griffith in No Time For Sergeants); Asa Hearthrug (hero of Barefoot Boy With Cheek and other novels by Max Shulman); and Constable Benton Fraser (pictured, played by Paul Gross in Due South). The composite would be Bartholomew Wolfe Bandy, narrator of The Bandy Papers.

The Bandy Papers is a series of novels by Canadian author Donald Jack (1924-2003), sometime screenwriter, full-time humorist and winner of three Stephen Leacock Awards. The Bandy novels, for which Jack is most famous, chronicle the exploits -- mostly unintentional -- of a naïf from small-town Ontario, who goes on to become a World War I fighter ace and heroic exemplar of the archtypical dumb-but-nice Canadian.

There appear to be 10 books in the Bandy Papers series -- depends on whether you count different editions -- all containing the word "me" in the title. Three Cheers for Me was the first, published in 1962. Then came That's Me in the Middle (1973) and It's Me Again (1975). For the complete bibliography, see the Wikipedia article.

Bandy is described as over 6 feet tall, with a face like a horse. (Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacHackey will play the role if I get to cast the movie version.) His voice is high pitched and whiney and is said to resemble that of W.C. Fields, whom he once met. This combination seems to drive most people (and many animals) he meets to dislike him. As a result he has developed a "stone face" to counter these attacks -- a defence that often backfires by inciting his enemies to greater levels of malice.

Bandy's talents, although well disguised, are real. Like Forrest Gump, he has certainly been an influential (though minor) character in history, or at least present when history was made. He describes an encounter with a young Canadian officer named Lester Pearson, who he thinks unfit for a career in either the diplomatic corps or politics. Walt's Canadian readers will see the humour in this. Like my father, he also knew Lloyd George, and Lloyd George knew him. (For complete lyrics and music send a self-addressed stamp envelope to "Old Song", c/o Walt.)

As should be obvious from the last paragraph, Brits and Canucks will get more out of The Bandy Papers than readers of other nationalities. However, no-one who's ever been in the military -- any mililtary, of any nation, at any time -- cannot fail to be rendered helpless with laughter (of the you-have-to-laugh-so-you-won't-cry variety) by Bandy's tellingly accurate descriptions of how things work (not!) in the Canadian Army and Royal Flying Corps.

Bandy's military career went from the heights of the Air Board to the lows of fighting in a bicycle battalion. He left the RAF in 1920 as a Lieutenant (acting Major) General! Later books tell us that after the war Bandy had short but illustrious careers in silent films, rum-running and politics. When several of his careers threatened to land him in prison (or worse, Cabinet) Bandy returned to Europe flying via Iceland in an attempt to restore his fortunes through the marketing of The Gander, an amphibious aircraft of his design. His plans came to naught when he lost the Gander during the rescue of a downed aviator in the English Channel.

After that, Bandy was forced to seek employment as a lowly hospital porter until being sought out by the rescued aviator, who turned out to be the son of an Indian maharajah. Offered employment in the Maharajah's air force, Bandy continued his long tradition of upsetting the powers that be by accepting this controversial appointment. This led to him being knighted but he seldom used his title.

It is mentioned that he flew for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but this is not detailed. In WWII, Bandy fought against the Bosch once again, and became re-acquainted with a son from a previous adventure. In the final volume of the series, Bandy faces Germany's top fighter pilot in combat before returning to the Soviet Union for the Yalta conference, during which he has to cope with Stalin's paranoia and the NKVD.

Nothing far-fetched about these tales, obviously. Equally obvious is the fact that the longer a series goes on, the greater the loss of quality in each sequel. We learned that from Star Wars, and it's worth noting that the later Bandy novels were contemporaneous with the later (and crappier) Star Wars movies. In fact, the last book -- Stalin Versus Me -- was not published until two years after Jack's death. Perhaps the author was trying to quit while he was ahead.

IMHO, the first three novels in the series (see above) are the best. My only caveat is that, if you know nothing about flying and WWI aircraft, you may need to enlist the services of Agent 17 to translate for you. Here's a test for you -- the Monty Python "RAF banter" sketch.

OK, that's set in WWII. If you understood it without assistance, you'll be find with Bandy. If not, well, read at least the first three novels anyway. You'll figure it out. And I guarantee you, not just for a chuckle or two, but scores of chuckles and the occasional belly laugh. Righto!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bertone: "It's the Pope, not me!"

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone is unable to keep his own counsel any longer! Having been named by La Repubblica [not to mention WWW! Ed.] as either the attacker or the attackee in the ongoing Vatileaks saga, the Man Who Would Be Pope has given an interview to RAI-TV on the leaks of confidential Vatican documents.

According to the "Prime Minister of the Vatican" the leaks are an attack on Pope Benedict XVI. Recalling an earlier day when Pope Paul VI was under attack from within the Vatican, the cardinal said that in this case "the attacks are more carefully aimed, and sometimes also ferocious, destructive, and organized". Click here to read the full text of the interview, as translated by the National Catholic Reporter.

Surely Walt is not the only one experiencing a certain cognitive dissonance here. In other words... say what?! Odd that the cardinal should point the finger at the Pope, since he -- not the Pope -- is the one who appears in an unfavourable light in the documents that have been released so far. None of the leaked documents has been embarrassing to the Holy Father.

Cardinal Bertone's use of the word "organized" to describe the leaks suggests that he shares the general belief in Rome that the leaks have been orchestrated by a group of people. But who is the organizer? Is there some kind of collective mind at work, or could it be just one jealous and disgruntled individual?

One more innocent question. Should we believe Cardinal Bertone? Or is this another instance of his going on the air to present misinformation and disinformation to a lapdog interviewer?

Something similar happened just over five years ago, on the popular RAI talk show Porta a Porta. On 31 May 2007 the cardinal got Bruno Vespa -- Italy's answer to Phil Donahue -- to toss him a couple of fungos on the subject of the Third Secret of Fatima, which Bertone insisted had been disclosed at last, in its entirety, on 26 June 2000.

Unfortunately for His Eminence, the interview turned into a huge "own goal", as Bertone showed the world, on live TV, that there were at least two envelopes whose contents (Sister Lucia wrote) were only to be opened in 1960. Until that interview, the cardinal had maintained that there was only one envelope, and that Lucia had never received an order from Our Lady referring to 1960.

For an excellent account of Cardinal Bertone's deception and his personal campaign to conceal the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Third Secret of Fatima, read The Secret Still Hidden by Christopher Ferrara (Good Counsel Publications, 2008).

In the old Soviet Union, it was said that you couldn't believe anything until it was officially denied. Walt thinks the same could be said of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Stay tuned.

Breaking news! We didn't have to stay tuned too long. None other than Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, has conceded that the multiple leaks of confidential documents have damaged the credibility of the Vatican. "Clearly to restore a climate of serenity and trust is a process," said Father Lombardi. (Walt's emphasis.) "It is not something that can be solved in a few days." Indeed? Indeed.

Further reading: "Benedict XVI admits Church's problems come 'from within'" posted here 11 May 2010.

Kiwi kid's fart speech blasts competition

12-year-old Victoria Grant's "Enslaved by our banks" speech, reported here last month, has drawn considerable readership and comment. Now, via Agent 6, comes word of a less serious, but still ripping speech by Sophie Paterson, apparently about the same age, a Grade 6 student in the Central Hawke’s Bay area of New Zealand. Here's the text of Sophie's prizewinning oration on the subject of... wait for it... farts.

Hi, today I am going to talk to you about farts. Some people think farts are rude and some people think farts are funny, like me. I think farts are hilarious.

Farting is a fact of life. Everybody farts. The Queen farts, superstars fart and I fart. We will fart until the day we die. And apparently a person can still fart after death!!

Do you know why we fart? Flatulence, wind or farts, whatever you like to call them, is the production of the mixture of gases in the digestive tract, that are by products of the digestive process. The average person farts about 14 times a day, which produces about half a litre of fart gas. (Personally, I think I fart more than 14 times a day).

Farts are made up of the following: Nitrogen, the main ingredient making up 59 percent; next behind is hydrogen at 21 percent; 9 percent carbon dioxide; 7 percent methane, 3 percent oxygen and 1 percent other stuff. But listen to this! Hydrogen sulphide is the compound that makes them stink!

Here are the top 10 farters:
1. Termites
2. Camels
3. Zebras and my pony Free
4. Sheep
5. Cows
6. Elephants
7. Labradors and retrievers
8. Humans (vegetarians)
9. Humans (non-vegetarians)
10. Gerbils (also known as the desert rat)

If If you are going to fart, do not sit by flames, because farts are very flammable. Also, they can come motoring out of your body at 10 kmh. No wonder some of you have holes in your undies!

Please do not panic if you find yourself trapped in a small space like a closet, as it is impossible to suffocate in your own farts. Unless Ben (my little brother) is in there with you!

Anyway next time you fart, don’t think it’s rude. Just know that everybottie, oops, I mean, everybody, farts. Thank you for listening to my fartastic speech.

Here’s a little poem that I’d like to share with you.
A fart can be useful
It gives the body ease
It warms the bed in winter
And suffocates the fleas.

Way to go Sophie! Keep `em flying!

And dear readers, please note that Walt is quoting from a report in the Napier (NZ) Mail. There's at least one other version of this speech extant on the Internet, with a couple of bogus limericks tacked on at the end, replacing the nice little poem Sophie recited. Trust Walt to give you the real article.

Toronto "systems" FAIL

Sorry to delay this update on the Christopher Husbands story. There has been a lot of backing and filling on the part of the City of Toronto, its Keystone cops, Ontario judiciary and Canadian immigration. Sorting out the truth of what happened...or didn't happen...has taken time. Here's what we know now.

Christopher Husbands is an immigrant from Guyana, who is accused of murdering a Somali immigrant in a hail of bullets at Toronto's Eaton Centre mall on Saturday afternoon. Half a dozen bystanders -- notice I didn't say innocent -- were wounded.

Both the shooter and shootee are black, hardly a surprise to anyone who knows Toronto. Both belonged to the same gang, which has been terrorizing Regent Park -- one of Toronto's "at-risk neighbourhoods" -- for some time, in spite of the diligence of the Toronto cops' "guns 'n' gangs" squad. Yet the boys in blue keep insisting the shooting was "not gang-related". Maybe Husbands and the victim were off duty.

Husbands wasn't supposed to be at the Eaton Centre, or anywhere else except work. He was under house arrest, you see, on bail on a charge of sexual assault dating from 2010. Bail was granted in spite of at least one drug conviction dating from 2008, because a couple of members of the black community said they'd keep an eye on him, make sure he didn't run away to Guyana or Jamaica -- as if -- and so on.

Did the sureties (for that's what they were) put up any money? Did they supervise Husbands as promised? Errr, apparently not. Will they be required to forfeit or pay any bond money? Will they be held to account in any way? Don't hold your breath.

But there's more. Turns out Mr. Husbands actually had a job! For more than six months he'd been working as a "counsellor" at the Stan Wadlow Clubhouse, an after-school children's centre in another "at-risk neighbourhood" -- the PC term for what Americans would call a "project".

The Stan Wadlow Clubhouse is run by, errr, the City of Toronto, which of course has a policy of requiring police background checks on all prospective employees who will be working with children. Did Husbands pass the check? Errr, no. Did he even apply for a police clearance? Well... errr... he did apply but somehow his application "fell through the cracks", and he was allowed to start work and continue working well beyond the three-month "grace period" normally allowed because, errr, doing background checks is not a high priority for Metro's finest.

Walt wonders if allowing Husbands to take the job in spite of his previous record, in spite of being on bail, in spite of not having had the background check, had anything to do with political correctness or affirmative action. Suppose the City had told Husbands he wasn't eligible? Wouldn't that have been a classic example of the "systemic racism" that all the liberal hug-a-hoodie types whine about?

The whole affair seems to be a terrible embarrassment to all concerned. The Rosedale liberals, the police, city councillors, His Largeness the Mayor, and the Toronto media are all wringing their hands over the revelation that guns and gangs are a problem in Toronto. But they steadfastly refuse to talk about the elephant in the room -- the African elephant.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shocking news! Toronto shooter not Jamaican!

Further to yesterday's story about the gunplay at Toronto's Eaton Centre, Walt can report that the Toronto constabulary, not known for their ability to find a blackberry in a saucer of milk [Block that metaphor! Ed.] were handed a bit of a gift when a gentleman of the coloured persuasion walked into 52 Division HQ early this morning and admitted to pulling the trigger at least seven times. With one victim dead and six others injured it had to be at least seven.

The perp was identified in court this afternoon as Christopher Husbands, a Toronto resident. "Was Mr. Husbands born in Canada?", I hear you ask. Errr, no. He immigrated in 2000. Lifetime pct .990.
"From where did he immigrate?", I still hear you asking. Errr, not Jamaica. Lifetime pct .989. Turns out Mr. Husbands came from Guyana...not 1000 miles from Jamaica, as the crow flies. [Do it again and you're fired! Ed.]

"What was Mr. Husbands doing in Canada?" Errr... he was doing time. For a drug conviction in 2008.
"So what was he doing in the Eaton Centre?" According to the police, he should have been at home because he was, errr, under house arrest, awaiting trial on a charge of sexual assault dating from 2010.

Isn't the Canadian justice system great? And the Canadian immigration "system" too.

It is not known when Mr. Husbands will be tried on charges of murder and a bunch of other things for which he could be slapped on the wrist several more times. The police are still working on their case. They are having trouble getting lineup identification of Husbands as the perp. Eyewitnesses keep saying, "I dunno. They all look the same to me..."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Repubblica names Bertone in Vatileaks scandal

On May 28th Walt told you "Bertone... it's Bertone!" who's at the centre of the Vatileaks scandal which is the talk of Rome and the whole Catholic Church. Either he's the target of a campaign by his many enemies in the Curia, or he's the mastermind behind dirty tricks aimed at Pope Benedict XVI, to whom Bertone thinks he's heir apparent.

Paolo Gabriele, the pope's butler, who was caught in possession of confidential documents which he should not have had, is only a small fry. But the name of the big friar [oh please! Ed.] has not been spoken in Rome, until now.

In its Sunday edition, the influential Rome newspaper La Repubblica published documents it says it received anonymously after Gabriele's arrest on May 23rd. That means that Gabriele could not be the only person in possession of confidential correspondence. There are others!

And there are not just a few documents but, according to a note received by the newspaper, "hundreds more". Gabriele, it confided, was just a scapegoat. But for whom?

One letter, dated January 16th, concerning a liturgical matter, was sent by Raymond Cardinal Burke -- the American sometimes called "Bully Burke" -- to Pope Benedict's secretary of state. That would be... wait for it... Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.

Whoever sent the documents to La Repubblica also provided two letters signed by the pope's private secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein. (He's the one standing behind the pope. No knife is visible in the picture.) The newspaper said those letters had everything but the letterhead and the signature whited out "so as not to offend the Holy Father," according to the note accompanying the documents.

The person who sent the documents to La Repubblica said Cardinal Bertone and Monsignor Gaenswein were "those really responsible for this scandal". The writer threatened to reveal the contents of Gaenswein's letters, and possibly other embarrassing details, soon. Stay tuned.

In Toronto you can't describe a killer as a nagger

On Boxing Day, 2005, post-Christmas shoppers looked on in horror as 15-year-old Jane Creba was shot in broad daylight outside Toronto's Eaton Centre. She wasn't the intended victim, just an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between two gangs. Those involved, a couple of whom were actually convicted years later, were, errr, gentlemen of the coloured persuasion. "Coloured", as in "black".

Walt had something to say about this just over two years ago in "Another example of racist over-policing". One of the points I was trying to make is that it's no longer politically correct to refer to the gangstas as "black" or "coloured" or the most offensive word in the English language. And you can't say "African-American" since they're almost invariably "Jamaican-Canadian". That's a fact. The police know it, anyone who's not wilfully blind knows it, and the media knows it. But...the media won't say it, because it's not PC.

Fast forward to the same locale -- the Eaton Centre -- yesterday around 6 p.m. Pandemonium erupted at the largest shopping mall in downtown Toronto after a shooter fired a hail of bullets into a food court packed with weekend shoppers. A 25-year-old man was killed. Seven other people were injured by the gunfire, and scores more crushed or trampled in the frenzied mass exodus that followed the shooting spree.

Toronto police, in a sudden and unusual display of acuity, think the was a targeted one, which caught innocent bystanders in the middle. The boys in blue [or black? Ed.] vowed to track the suspect down.

Do we have a description of the gunman? Indeed we do. A witness said the shooter was "a dark-skinned man wearing a hoody and baggy pants." That narrows it down to about 20,000 denizens of North America's most multicultural city, but hey, it's a start.

Toronto, unusually for a North American city, has no fewer than four more-or-less daily newspapers: the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post. (The latter two like to refer to themselves as "national" newspapers but are in fact written and edited -- sort of -- in Toronto.)

How many of those papers printed that description, or any reference whatsoever to the race of the perp? Just one. Three cheers for the Sun and a PC raspberry to the three who are too timid to call a spade a spade.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book review: One great lake, two very different countries

Having lived and worked in both the US of A and Canada, I am sometimes asked to explain the differences between the countries, if any there be. Canada and the Excited States are quite different, but identifying and explaining the dissimilarities requires more time and space than I have ever cared to devote to so doing.

I was therefore gratified to stumble upon a highly recommendable book by two Americans -- Ken Sobol and Julie Macfie Sobol -- who migrated to Canada, and in the early 1990s undertook a series of trips through neighbouring parts of the two countries, perhaps to be sure they'd made the right decision. Their entertaining account of their wanderings, Looking for Lake Erie (Penguin 1996) is highly recommendable.

Ken Sobol and Julie Macfie were raised in the Cleveland and Detroit areas, respectively. They met at Oberlin College, married, moved to New York and in 1974 to Toronto. It would be nice to say that Ken and Julie had a lifelong love affair with Lake Erie, but it's not so. They began their travels around the lake in the course of researching magazine pieces. In the prologue we are told:

We...began to be intrigued by the lives of the people who lived along the lake. We wanted to know more about the millions of people who live along Erie's shores, some of whom worry about daily survival in dilapidated, drug-devastated slums while others drift through the American Dream in tidy suburbs, studiously oblivious to anyone else's problems, and still others rise at dawn to work their farms and pursue a daily routine not all that different from that of the first pioneers to settle in Ontario.

Where had they come from (and why and when), what place in the ongoing social history of the lakeshore did they occupy, what kind of communities had they developed? Had common patterns evolved from ne side of the lake to the other? How alike and how different are the two cultures that share the shoreline?

The Sobols' book is thus more sociology than geography. More social history than travelogue, Looking for Lake Erie paints a picture not just of an empty landscape, but of the nature and attitudes of the different peoples who inhabit the Canadian and American shores.

For Americans, Looking for Lake Erie will make depressing reading. The grim descriptions of Buffalo, Cleveland and Toledo beg the question of why American cities are the way they are. (That's the authors' question, not mine.) Why the dilapidation? Why the racial division? Why the depression? The writers do not attempt to give definitive answers, only suggestions presented in a down-to-earth and entertaining style which owes much to Bill Bryson and Dervla Murphy. (The debt is acknowledged in the authors' note.)

Canadians cannot look across the lake smugly. The Sobols point out the similarities (beyond the names) in Fort Erie ON and Erie PA, the former being described as "hanging on by a thread". That was nearly two decades ago. It would be interesting to revisit places like Leamington ON and Ashtabula OH today, to see if things have changed... for better or worse.

Looking for Lake Erie is chock-full of amusing, acute and sometimes profound observations of Americans, Canadians, and their settlements along the shores of the great lake. Even if you have no intention of going anywhere near that part of the continent the two countries share, the Sobols' book is not to be missed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Planned Parenthood caught TWICE promoting sex-selective abortion

Planned Parenthood has been mentioned more than half a dozen times in Walt's blog, because people should know that PP is not the benign agency it purports itself to be, helping plan ideal, caring, nurturing families. Planned Parenthood promotes and facilitates abortion. That's a fact of which the public needs to be constantly reminded.

Twice this week, the pro-life activists at Live Action have released videotapes showing "counsellors" at Planned Parenthood clinics encouraging women to procure a sex-selection abortion. Need I put it more bluntly? They're telling them that if they don't want the girl babies they're carrying, just kill them!

In the first video, recorded in a PP "clinic" in Austin TX, you'll see an actress tell the "counsellor" that she plans to abort if her unborn child is female. The counsel;or seems to approve of the plan, and provides details on how the young woman can obtain an ultrasound -- using Medicaid funding, by the way -- to determine the baby’s sex, and arrange an abortion if it is a girl.

The second video, below, was made in an undercover operation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York. Here again, the "counsellor" tells the woman how to obtain tests that will determine the sex of her unborn child, so that she can schedule an abortion if it is a girl.

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, charged that American abortionists are "aiding and abetting this horrific problem [of sex-selective abortion]." More than 100 million unborn baby girls have been destroyed, worldwide, in abortions procured by parents who wanted baby boys. Live Action calls it “female gendercide.”