Friday, November 29, 2013

Stupid iliterate inumerate kids!

Two related items caught Walt's eye yesterday. The first was a speech given by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to the Centre for Policy Studies. In his address, entitled "What would Maggie [Thatcher] do today?", Bojo averred that achieving economic equality is impossible because some people are simply too stupid to get ahead in the modern world.

Mr. Johnson's remarks were immediately decried by the usual suspects as elitist and possibly racist, but no-one had the temerity to challenge his basic premise. That's because it's true! Remember what George Carlin used to say about the stupidity of the average person. If you think the average person is as stupid as he/she appears, consider that half the population is even more stupid than that!

Apart from genetic differences, today's younger people are the victims of bad education. Boris Johnson may have been thinking about a major study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which showed that that young adults in England scored among the lowest results in the industrialised world in international literacy and numeracy tests.

Out of 24 countries, England ranked 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy. The study also showed that, unlike in other developed countries, young people in England are no better at these tests than people in the 55 to 65 age range.

When this is weighted with other factors, such as the socio-economic background of people taking the test, it shows that England is the only country in the survey where results are going backwards. The older cohort scores higher than the younger.

British Skills Minister Matthew Hancock was shocked -- SHOCKED -- by the report. "This shocking report shows England has some of the least literate and numerate young adults in the developed world," he said. Then he came to the nub of the problem. "These are Labour's children," he added, "educated under a Labour government and force-fed a diet of dumbing down and low expectations." [My emphasis. Walt.]

Walt wonders if Mr. Hancock has visited North America. If the average British yoof is thick as a plank, the average American (and his/her Canadian cousin) is thick as two planks! If you don't believe me, ask one of them. A couple of days ago Walt saw a news reporter asking students at Harvard to name the capital of Canada. The only one who could was a visiting student from, errr, China.

And that's Harvard, the institution which educates America's brightest and best! Those kids aren't the ones who would have been left behind but for the Bush league educational reforms. If you want to see what those kids are like, try conversing with one of the gum-chewing, glassy-eyed "associates" at the Gap.

These are the kids who graduated from high schools and colleges unable to read their diplomas or make change without using a calculator. See also "Downward mobility haunts US education", from BBC News, December 2012.

The problem is with "child-centred education", the 60s fad that persists half a century later, under which no-one is "left behind" and no-one "fails" because that would be damaging to their self-esteem [and probably racist too! Ed.] Instead, our educational institutions turn out [churn out? Ed.] graduates utterly unprepared to cope with a troubled economy and shrinking job market. It is there -- in the real world -- that these kids fail.

The problem is hardly new. Dr. Rudolf Flesch wrote about it way back in 1951, in the original Why Johnny Can't Read. Why Johnny Still Can't Read: A New Look at the Scandal of Our Schools appeared in 1981. And yes, Dr. Flesch does propose a solution -- part of the home schooling answer to the crisis in education.

What you should do is teach your kids phonics! Walt recommends Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do About It, from Harper Collins. The book is endorsed -- but apparently not followed -- by the US Department of Education. You can find it at your local library. Your community does still have a library, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holy Father, be careful what you wish for!

"'I prefer a church bruised, hurting and dirty': Pope's extrodinary mission statement shakes up Vatican"

Headlines like this are all over the media -- especially the "Catholic" media -- this morning. But Walt has a news flash for Pope Francis.

Holy Father, you want a Church that's "bruised, hurting and dirty"? Wake up and smell the coffee [or the communion wine. Ed.]!

Thanks to the diabolical disorientation of your predecessors (and their secretaries of state, in particular), the Roman Catholic church is already "bruised, hurting and dirty"! Faithful Catholics were hoping and praying that you would reverse the slide into corruption, immorality and apostasy, and blow "the smoke of Satan"* out of Holy Mother Church. So far, we are gravely disappointed.

* Not long before he died, Pope Paul VI said "The smoke of Satan has entered the Church". He should have known, because through Vatican II he opened the window.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Politically correct criminology

The Canadian government, ever solicitous of the well-being of the disadvantaged members of society, employs a full-time "prisons ombudsman" -- an official charged with monitoring the country's federal corrections system. According to a recent CBC report, the ombudsman is launching an inquiry into the reasons for a dramatic rise in the proportion of black offenders [disadvantaged yoofs, surely! Ed.] rapidly filling up Canada's prisons.

In the last decade, the investigator reports, the proportion of black convicts has risen from 6% to over 9% -- a 50% increase. People of colour account for just 2.5% of Canada's population. The ombudsman wants to find out why the numbers have increased so rapidly, and thus identify the challenges faced by the corrections system.

Howard Sapers told CBC News, "We've decided to commence an investigation into both the increase and to help us determine whether the CSC [Correctional Service of Canada] is meeting the needs of this population of offenders." According to the CBC, Mr. Sapers hopes to get an answer to a key question -- what distinguishes black offenders from other inmates.

Without waiting for the answer to that very good question, the Canadian Minister of Justice, Peter MacHack, has announced federal funding for a new course to be offered at selected Canadian universities, entitled Politically Correct Criminology 101. The course will explore the causes of black crime and how to implement "culturally appropriate programmes" to enable Canada's justice and corrections system to live up to its responsibility to provide ethno-cultural services that are specific to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse group of miscreants.

Walt has been able to obtain a copy of the new course's exam questions, which have already been formulated but until this very moment have been kept in a hermetically sealed jar behind the front door of Kingston Penitentiary. Here are two of them.

1. According to the Correctional Service of Canada, the proportion of black inmates in Canadian prisons has risen by 50% in the last decade. In not more than 500 words, show how this is due to systemic racism abetted by the police and other agents of the white establishment.

5. The CSC wishes to adjust its policies and practices to accommodate the corrections system to the needs of an increasingly diverse prison population. Explain why you think this is a good idea and give at least three practical suggestions as to what measures could be taken to make persons of colour feel more at home in Canada's prisons. (For example, should guards' uniform jackets be replaced by hoodies? No marks for suggesting this one.)

Lest you think Walt is making this up, check out this video.

Since Walt knows some of you want to ask, the anchorperson doing the intro is Reshmi Nair, presently toiling away on CBC's Wally World, but surely destined for greater things.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brian Griffin RIP

It's fortunate, in a way, that last night's Grey Cup* game wasn't much of a contest, otherwise Walt might have missed the latest episode of Family Guy, the funniest cartoon show on TV. I had been misled by the trailer into thinking that it was another of those "Stewie's time machine" episodes (which are funny enough) but it was much more than that.

Yes, the show started off with a sequence about Stewie and Brian going back to the Jamestown settlement to take guns away from the Indians, thus preventing them from controlling America in the future. In the aftermath, Stewie destroys his time machine, which turns out to be huge mistake because, when Brian is hit by a speeding car, Stewie is unable to go back in time to prevent the accident.

So Brian dies. I'm so sorry... not least because I identified with Brian in aspiring to be a writer... and being hot for Lois.

In the latter half of the episode, the Griffins get a new dog named "Vinnie", who speaks with an Italian-American inflection straight out of The Sopranos. As well he might, since he is voiced by Tony Sirico. Vinnie describes himself as a "pussy hound"... which means he's 1/16th cat. Walt hates him already.

Will Vinnie stick with the Griffins? Or will Seth MacFarlane find a way to bring Brian back to life, even without the aid of Stewie's time machine? "It was only a dream!" has been done already, but stay tuned...

* Emblematic of the Canadian Football League championship. Saskatchewan romped over the frozen turf to thump Hamilton 45-23, much to the delight of the bookmakers.

Latest fashion for Muslim policewomen... guess where???

Here's the latest in police uniforms designed with political correctness in mind. These two policewomen [female police officers? lady cops? Ed.] are seen on foot patrol, but it's not because they're in Saudi Arabia, where women aren't allowed to drive cars. Noooo... they are in London, England, where the Muslim tail continues to wag the Christian/secular dog. [Must be some kind of mixed breed. Ed.

But the UK is not the only once-Western country where daughters of Islam in the forces will be authorized to cover their hair. Again, noooo.... Police in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) -- once a bastion of redneck conservatism -- will this week unveil (`scuse the pun!) their own version of the uniform hijab.

According to the Notional Post, the head covering is designed to be worn under a standard uniform cap, so it won't be so noticeable as to give offence to men who think it's bad enough to have female cops in the first place.

The hijab will also be attached to something or other with snaps or velcro, so that it can be torn off easily in a fight. Walt can only speculate about what sort of charges would be laid against someone who assaulted a hijab-wearing copwoman. Would they be prosecuted under the Criminal Code or the Human Rights Act... or both?! The mind boggles.

Edmonton city councillor Scott McKeen [a keen Scot? maybe not. Ed.], called letting Muslim PWs wear the hijab a "gesture of inclusion" toward the local Muslim community which, he said, "can feel a little skittish at times" about Islamophobia. "One of the perceptions about Edmonton and Alberta is that we’re kind of redneck.... [Now we're] sort of saying we want to have a diverse police service that reflects the diversity and multicultural aspects of Edmonton. I’m proud of us."

Note from Ed.: Walt was unable to add a further comment, as he had to leave the room to avoid being sick on the keyboard.

Further reading (and another lovely picture): "Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?"
"Arab woman faces whipping for refusing to cover hair with hijab"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bob Edwards' prayer to the one true god

A century ago -- before the Internet, before TV, before radio, before anyone told you what to think -- there was print. Newspapers, magazines, books and pamphlets gave writers the means to express their opinions.

Bob Edwards had opinions -- plenty of them -- which he printed in The Eye Opener, published from 1904 to 1922 in wherever in Alberta Bob happened to be when the effects of the drink wore off. (To be fair, he went on the wagon and came out for temperance in the elections of 1915.)

Mr. Edwards pioneered a new style of journalism, writing irreverently about anything and everything that pleased or displeased him. His columns were chuckled over in bars, brothels and (kinda secretly) respectable homes all over western Canada.

Here is a slightly edited version of Bob Edwards' prayer to the great god that people of all faiths worship.

O ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, without thee in the world we can do nothing, but with thee we can do all things. Be with us, we pray thee, in all thy decimal parts, for thou art the only one altogether lovely, and the chief among ten thousand.

There is no condition in life where thy potent and all-powerful charms are not felt. In thy absence how gloomy is the household, and how desolate the hearthstone; but, in thy presence, how gleefully the beefsteak sings on the gridiron, how genial is the warmth that anthracite coal or tamarack wood diffuses throughout the apartment, and how exuberant the joy swelling in every bosom.

Thou art the joy of our youth and the solace of our old age. Thou canst adorn the gentleman and feed the jackass. Thou art the favourite of the philosopher, and the ideal of the lunkheads when an election is to be carried.

Almighty dollar, thy shining face bespeaks thy wondrous power. In my pocket make thy resting place; I need thee every hour.

And now, almighty dollar, in closing this invocation, we realize and acknowledge that thou art the god our our grandfathers, the twofold god of their children, and the threefold god of their grandchildren. Permit us to possess thee in abundance, is our constant and unwavering prayer.


Friday, November 22, 2013

VIDEO: Rex hexes Canadian pols

Walt hesitates to use the word "icon", said word being much overworked these days, but a Canadian icon is what Rex Murphy is. He hosts Cross-Country Checkup, a coast-to-coast-to-coast [speaking of hackneyed phrases. Ed.] speak-your-mouth programme on CBC Radio on Sundays, and appears most Thursdays on CBC-TV's The National following the "At Issue" panel. From pop culture to politics, Rex Murphy brings a unique and always controversial perspective to the news.

Mr. Murphy has the gift o' the gab. That comes of having Irish ancestry, by way of Newfoundland, Canada's funniest province. He also has a tremendous vocabulary, which was on exhibit last night as Rex poured scorn on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Mike "Michael" Duffy and the other Conservative senators embroiled in the ongoing expenses scandal. He did so with such eloquence and wit that Walt is sure even non-Canadian readers will enjoy this large serving of vitriol.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Canucks too polite for their own good?

While recovering from minor surgery, Walt has had ample time to catch up on two political scandals which have been rocking the Canadian canoe this fall. I refer to the saga of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, now at the end of Act I, and the ongoing Senate expenses scandal, which yesterday got close to directly implicating Canuck Prime Minister Steve Harper.

What Walt has learned about Canadians is that they are not just ultra-polite, but very forgiving, even when it comes to the grossest misconduct by their public officials. The forelock-tugging deference shown by those sheeple to VIPs is beyond amazing.

In neither case -- the Ford affair or the Wright-Duffy-Harper scandal -- has a single criminal charge been brought or a civil lawsuit commenced. In America, ravenous lawyers would have been all over the miscreants like pit bulls on poodles! In Canada, "the police are investigating; let justice take its course" is good enough for a citizenry that, in other countries, would have taken to the streets.

And get this! His Honour Mayor Ford and the Honourable Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau are still in office! Apparently Canadians have no provision in their laws for recall elections. As for the Senators, they weren't elected in their first place -- just put in their positions at the trough courtesy of Prime Minister Harpoon.

What about impeachment, I hear you ask. My legal advisor, Agent 3, isn't sure if such a procedure exists in Canadian law. But, he says, he is unaware of any Canadian or provincial parliamentarian ever having been impeached. And the possibility of impeachment has not even been mooted.

Well then (I am still listening to you) why don't Mayor Ford and the three unjustly enriched senators -- Conservatives every one! -- do the honourable thing and resign? Errr, no... Resigning out of shame or as a matter of principle is something they do in Britain, maybe, but Canadian politicians follow the Nixon/Clinton precedents of not jumping until you're about to be pushed...and maybe not even then.

So the state of play today is this. The three Tory senators who have been found to have defrauded Canadian taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegitimate "expenses" have been suspended from the Red Trough ["Red Chamber", surely! Ed.] for the balance of this parliament. But they get to keep their perqs, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, and a generous pension plan paid for know who.

Mayor Rob Ford still has an office (albeit a smaller one, barely big enough to accomodate his girth) in Toronto's city hall, and he still has a staff (also smaller) and a salary (not smaller). Plus he still gets to represent Toronto at various ceremonies and functions (but not the Santa Claus Parade or next year's Garrison Ball, Walt guesses), but will no longer be involved in day-to-day running of the city. That leaves him lots of time for appearances (presumably remunerated) on radio and TV not just in Toronto or Canada but also the USA where he has become an instant celeb -- kind of like Lindsay Lohan, only bigger and uglier.

Agent 78 says that in China they'd all have been shot. But not in Canada. Pity.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pat Buchanan questions Pope's stance in the culture wars

To judge by his public pronouncements, Pope Francis wants to be neutral in the so-called "culture wars" over issues such as abortion, same-sex "marriage" and the moral degradation of the West. "Who am I to judge [homosexuals]" said the pope who Msgr Patrick Perez denounced publicly as "a disgrace".

"Who am I to judge?" Walt answered the Holy Father's question on July 29th. And now Pat Buchanan -- perhaps a reader of WWW? -- says, "Well, he is pope. And even the lowliest parish priest has to deliver moral judgments in a confessional."

In "Papal Neutrality in the Culture War?", Mr. Buchanan accuses Pope Francis of bordering on moral relativism by refusing to condemn atheists and LGBT individuals. The Pope, he writes, is attempting to move the Catholic Church "to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West."

Strong stuff! The sound you hear is Walt applauding. Here's more of what Mr. Buchanan has to say about the Pope's astonishing departure lack of leadership on some of the most important cultural and moral issues of our day. The emphasis is Walt's.

"There is a small problem with neutrality. As Trotsky observed, 'You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” For the church to absent itself from the culture war is to not to end that war, but to lose it.'

"What would that entail? Can we not already see? In America, the family has disintegrated. 40% of working-class white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53% of Hispanic children, and 73% of black children. Kids from broken homes are many times more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, join gangs, commit crimes, end up in prison, lose their souls, and produce yet another generation of lost souls.

"[Laurie] Goodstein [of the New York Times] quotes the Holy Father as listing among the 'most serious of the evils' today 'youth unemployment'. And he calls upon Catholics not to be 'obsessed' with abortion or same-sex marriage. But is teenage unemployment really a graver moral evil than the slaughter of 3,500 unborn every day in a land we used to call 'God’s Country'?

"Papal encyclicals like Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno have much to teach about social justice in an industrial society. But what is the special expertise of the church in coping with teenage unemployment? Has the Curia done good scholarly work on the economic impact of the minimum wage?

"The cultural revolution preached by Marxist Antonio Gramsci is continuing its “long march” through the institutions of the West and succeeding where the violent revolutions of Lenin and Mao failed. It is effecting a transvaluation of all values. And it is not interested in a truce with the church of Pope Francis, but a triumph over that church which it reviles as the great enemy in its struggle.

"Indeed, after decades of culture war waged against Christianity, the Vatican might consider the state of the Faith. Our civilization is being de-Christianized. Popular culture is a running sewer. Promiscuity and pornography are pandemic. In Europe, the churches empty out as the mosques fill up. In America, Bible reading and prayer are outlawed in schools, as Christian displays are purged from public squares. Officially, Christmas and Easter do not exist.

"The pope, says Goodstein, refers to proselytizing as 'solemn nonsense'. But to proselytize is to convert nonbelievers. And when Christ admonished his apostles, 'Go forth and teach all nations', and ten of his twelve were martyred doing so, were they not engaged in the Church’s true commission — to bring souls to Christ....

"An Italian atheist quotes the pope as saying, 'Everyone has his own idea of good and evil,' and everyone should 'follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.' Does this not reflect the moral relativism of Prince Hamlet when he said to Rosencrantz, 'there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so?' Yet, is it not the church’s mission to differentiate good and evil and condemn the latter?

"'Since he became pope,' writes Goodstein, Francis’ 'approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding.' Especially the atheists, one imagines. While Pope Francis has not altered any Catholic doctrines in his interviews and disquisitions, he is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful, a high price to pay, even for 'skyrocketing' poll numbers."

Further reading: "Why don't we proselytize?" by James Bannister, in Fatima Perspectives.

Church refuses to see tyranny of Chinese communism: Cardinal Zen

Joseph Cardinal Zen Zekiun may have retired from his position as bishop of Hong Kong, but he is still -- at 81 years of age -- fighting the good fight against the Vatican's policy of trying to reconcile with the Communist Chinese and their scihsmatic "Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association".

Cardinal Zen is in Rome for the opening of the Academic Year of the Pontifical Lateran University, and gave a provocative interview to the ZENIT news agency in which he again deplored the Beijing government’s ongoing persecution of the Church and the bishops and priests who still owe allegiance to Rome.

China, he said, is still a dictatorship of the [Communist] Party. "Despite the fact that an opening has been reached from the economic point of view, there still hasn’t been any change in politics and religion."

"There is absolute control, contempt for the Church, the humiliation of our bishops," the prelate continued. "Some of them have been in prison for ten years! We, who in Hong Kong still have freedom of speech, must make our voice heard and say what we think."

"There are those who are content at least with an apparent harmony, precisely to avoid any clash," he added, in what can only be a reference to the policies of the Vatican Secretariat of State under its former master, the despised Cardinal Bertone. "But this is mistaken, because arrogance is encouraged by silence. Instead, it is [our] duty to continue to talk and to protest, especially for religious liberty." [Walt's emphasis.]

Cardinal Zen denounced the "make nice with the Commies" actions of some foreign prelates who have had meetings with "bishops" affiliated with the government-controlled CPCA.

"So many cardinals have come, but what have they resolved?" he asked. "They haven’t done anything. They let themselves be photographed and embraced by illegitimate bishops, and, returning to their countries, they have praised China, when instead they saw nothing of the truth."

FUNNY VIDEO: Are you ready for winter?

Walt spent a couple of hours yesterday giving his garden its final cleanup for the year. [You hope! Ed.] The last rose of summer has been cut and thrown into the composter. The rainbarrel is empty. The cave awaits the hibernator.

What about you, dear reader? Are you ready for the joys of winter? Perhaps you've forgotten what fun winter can be. Here's a reminder, courtesty of Agent 6.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The beauty of mathematics (something positive, for a change)

Walt will be the first to admit that a lot of my posts are on the negative side. I am sorely affected by weltschmerz [Are you sure this is right? Ed.] and a general feeling that the whole world is going to hell in a handcart. How often have I said that only Heaven can save us?

Others, however, have a more positive outlook on life. Combined with a strong love for God, that positive attitude will get you through! And here's the mathematical proof of it. Thanks and tip of the toque to Agent 71.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fed up with eBay? There IS an alternative!

First the background. Anyone who's tried selling on eBay for any length of time knows that if a scammer hits you -- e.g. by claiming they never received the goods and demanding a refund -- you're going to get the short end of the stick every time. eBay will send them a refund and debit your PayPal account (if that's how you're getting paid), which they can do because eBay owns PayPal. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it because the deck is stacked in favour of buyers.

Further reading from the WWW archives: "eBay seller screwed by scammer thanks to 'buyer protection'" and "eBay and PayPal -- complaints mount".

Now we have another entry in the looooong thread called "How to cheat eBay sellers and scam PayPal" on [I've edited it a bit for brevity. Ed.]

"Hi everyone. I just got scammed $2k. Buyer bought $2k worth of gift cards from me via Ebay and paypal checkout, now I knew he was fishy to begin with and there would be no seller protection for gift cards, but I'm a reasonably seasoned seller so I knew if I could prove the buyer had received them as mentioned by Ebay messages and post tracking, I would be bullet proof against any claim...WRONG!

"I received my cash in my account no problem, 6 hrs later I woke up to see the $2 payment had been reversed and a new case opened as 'unauthorised purchase' and closed due to no 'seller response' within minutes of each other according to the action logs. How can a case and decision be made within minutes, that leads to $2k worth of cash refunded?

"So ok, no problems, I thought I'd submit a evidence on appeal clearly showing the buyer had signed for the packages 'under their name' and mentioned in the Ebay messages they received the items and all was dandy/authentic. And the decision: well you guessed it, against me, apparently because I don't qualify for seller protection, so everything I submitted means absolutely nothing, even if the evidence is concrete by the book.

"Now I am going to once again reappeal, with all guns blazing, even collected evidence by chatting to another seller who was also 'scammed' by the same buyer. If I get the same response from Paypal....that's just bluntly ridiculous, I'd just admit defeat stop hoping for at least my money back and going straight to cyber-crime police at least assist in getting him arrested."

As Agent 78 would say, rotsa ruck! But there is good news today. Walt has discovered another online store, called (appropriately) Webstore. It works the same way as eBay. You can put your junque -- fancy junk -- up for auction, or sell it on a "buy-it-now" basis. You can have your own virtual store. The platform is easier to use with the "Easy Post" option. And best of all it's free!

You can use PayPal to accept payment but with better protection against scammers because Webstore is independent of PayPal. The only negative I can see (so far) is that eBay dominates the market, so Webstore and the other eBay wannabes are struggling to build traffic. You can help, though, by putting links to your items on Facebook and other social media sites. If you're sick, sore and tired of eBay, give Webstore a try!

Updated driver's licence test

In accordance with government policies of embracing multiculturalism and celebrating diversity, road signs in Europe and North America will be updated effective immediately. The written tests for driving licences will be adjusted accordingly. Here is a sample question from the 2013 version.

This is the version now being used in France. If you require a translation, please use Google Translator or send a postcard to Poor Len Canayen. Thanks to Agent 6 for keeping us informed.

Londoners! Militant Muslims ARE out to get you!

Walt doesn't live in England any more. And a good thing too, from what I hear (thanks to Agent 17 and the Daily Beast). Seems Paris is not the only major European city with "Muslim no-go zones". Check out the video in "Muslim 'no-go' zones in France -- the failure of multicult". London has them too, and white Christians who venture into such places are risking life and limb. No kidding!

We know this from a criminal trial which wrapped up in London yesterday. The court heard a band of Islamic vigilantes admit to roaming the streets of East London, confronting and threatening to kill non-believers in an attempt to force everyone to obey Sharia law. Three men have pleaded guilty to related charges after self-proclaimed "Muslim Patrols" attacked, intimidated and threatened to stab members of the public in an area of London that hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.

Here's the thing about these "Muslim Patrols". Judging by the pictures and the court report, the terrorist wannabes are almost all homegrown -- white boys with Christian names who have converted to Islam and entered the fast lane on the road to Paradise. Ricardo McFarlane pled guilty to affray (fighting in a public place), while Jordan Horner (the red-bearded one in the picture) pled guilty to two charges of assault and use of threatening words and behaviour. They refused instructions to stand in court as the charges were read out.

The yoofs admitted taking part in an attack on January 6th, when a group of five men were approached in the wee hours while on a toot in London's tough and grimy East End. They had cans of beer snatched from their hands and poured out. A previous hearing was told that Horner said, "Why are you poisoning your body? It is against Islam. This is Muslim Patrol. Kill the non-believers." He then told someone to "go get the shank". Horner has admitted to throwing punches at the men as they attempted to flee the scene.

Ed. here. I'm going to cut this short. One VIDEO is worth 1000 words. Here's a clip from Sky News.

The chap doing the stand-up says the bobbies are concerned that this kind of antisocial behaviour could become more widespread as other disaffected yoofs start copycatting. Indeed. Coming soon to a city near you...

Monday, November 11, 2013

USA "the brokiest brokey broke nation in the history of the world"

One of Walt's favourite socio-political writers, Mark Steyn, is thinking seriously of moving back to Canada. He left the Great Not-so-white North in a huff, after having to defend himself before Canada's kangaroo court [Human Rights Commission, surely! Ed.] against charges of racism related to his warnings that the West risks being overrun by militant by Muslims.

His most recent books -- best-sellers highly recommended by Walt -- are America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, and After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. Reading between the lines of an interview with the Notional Post last week, Walt senses that Mr. Steyn has given up sounding the alarm and calling for a return to small government and economic discipline. In his opinion, changing the direction of the Obama maladministration will be very difficult. "America is the brokiest brokey broke nation in the history of the world," he told Jan Gerson. Here's more from the interview; the emphasis is Walt's.

Q: Let’s have that discussion about how terrible things are about to get: Brokiest broke of all the brokiest countries in the world.

A: On its present trajectory, America is looking at $20-trillion debt by the time this president leaves office, just the federal debt. That will mean the 44th president has run up more debt than the previous 43 presidents combined. It was $10-trillion when he took office. No one has ever spent that much in the history of the planet. And he has nothing to show for it.

The question then becomes, is serious political course correction possible in the United States? And I think the answer to that is very difficult. The question then is whether the rest of the developed world sits back and watches America drag everybody else over the cliff, or whether they start making plans, as Australia and certain other countries are doing, for the post-American world.

The post-Second World War American order is over. [The West] didn’t ask for [this]. The Americans did this to us; we didn’t do it to them. But, you know, it’s a new world out there and we have to look for other partners.

Q: When do we know that we’ve reached the tipping point of the end of the American age?

A: Goldman Sachs thinks that China will become the world’s biggest economic power sometime around 2016. In other words, and if that year is right, let’s just suppose for the sake of the argument it is, it means Barack Obama will end his term in a position no president has been in since Grover Cleveland. We’re in a post-American world. And at that point the question is whether it’s a gentle decline, like for the European empires after the Second World War, or whether it’s, you know, Mad Max on Interstate 95.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

War is hell... so why are we in such a hurry to go there?

At this time of year -- Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day or whatever you choose to call it -- our custom is to pause for a moment and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Where Walt comes from, someone, often a child of schoolgoing age, will recite In Flanders Fields. Let's listen, after which Walt has some questions for veterans and survivors of our wars.

Since Lt.-Col. McCrae wrote those touching words, hundreds of thousands of young and not-so-young men and women from the western so-called democracies have given their lives. So have even greater numbers of our enemies. And still greater numbers of men, women, children and babes-in-arms who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As Eric Bogle wrote in "The Ballad of Willie McBride" (aka "No Man's Land" or "The Green Fields of France"), "it all happened again and again and again."

It is right that we should remember with sorrow and pride those who "joined the glorious fallen" in Flanders, France, Italy, the Ukraine, North Africa, Korea and all those other places. I include Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, not because I'm proud of what American, Australian, British and Canadian forces did there, but because those who died in a terrible place far from home did so without questioning of complaining.

Most of those who died in the West's adventures in Asia didn't have much choice. Some of them were conscripts, some were volunteers. No matter. They wound up in uniform and went where they were sent, and (mostly) did what they were told. And there their lives ended. Nowadays it's possible to bring more of them home in body bags, but many of them are still there. They must not be forgotten.

But Walt has a couple of questions for those who lived -- sometimes at the cost of an arm or a leg or worse -- to tell the tale.

What were you doing there in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other fly-blown God-forsaken sandpit?
What did they -- the generals and the politicians -- tell you about why you were there, putting your life on the line?
Did you believe all that BS about fighting a war against terrorism and defending your homeland?

What did you do, there, that you could tell your mother about?
Are you proud of what you did? Are you proud about what your comrades-in-arms did?

And... most important... would you do it again?
Would you gladly throw the torch to your son or daughter, asking them to be part of the next generation to be "butchered and damned"?
Don't you think it's about time we stopped spilling blood and spending treasure in foreign wars... for nothing?!

Here's a quote from Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam: The war in Vietnam was never going to be won. Nothing had been achieved by the outpouring of lives and treasure and the rending of American society. The assurances the public has been given were the lies and vaporings of foolish men.

Further reading: "‘Why the hell would I kill this kid?’: One Canadian veteran remembers the horrors of war", in this weekend's National Post.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Some thoughts about Toronto's mayor, from someone closer to the (re)action

Ed. here. Walt hasn't seen fit to dive into the lamestream media feeding frenzy over the Mayor of Toronto, now notorious for admitting to drinking way too much, and having used crack cocaine at least once while in office, yet refusing to resign or even take a leave of absence to check himself into rehab. [Didn't they teach you in j-school to keep your sentences short? Walt]

Walt's not going to take a cheap shot at Rob Ford because (a) he (Walt) has some empathy for people who cross the line every now and then, and (b) the low-hanging fruit has already been picked by Stephen Colbert -- Colbert for Prime Minister of Canada! -- and America's Most Important Jew. Besides, Walt doesn't live in Toronto, so it's no skin off his back.

However... one of Walt's agents has sent along some thoughts, which we think express the feelings of a large number of Torontonians (and others) who think there's been rather too much tut-tutting about one man's problem with ups and downs and cops who are clearly out to get him. So we turn the podium over to Agent 2.

When it was hinted many months ago that Mayor Rob Ford was caught on video with some unsavoury characters, the media frenzy began. The public was inundated with speculation that Mayor Ford was a drug addict and you couldn't turn on CBC's much-revered The National, pick up the Toronto Star, or listen to Toronto's All News 680 Radio without it being featured week after week.

At social events, I could not escape the topic and I listened intently to my friends' and family's views. They couldn't shake mine -- I like the guy.

Many things in life are unlawful. This means there is a governing law, but to me it does not mean it is illegal. Such as adultery -- according to the law it is grounds for divorce. Assault and murder are grounds for incarceration. But as far as social smoking, shooting up or drinking is concerned, it is in the same category as eating. It is a personal thing and not illegal.

The late-night talk show hosts and television shows around the world have picked up this news item. What an opportunity! I see it as a terrific marketing ploy to include Toronto in their travel plans in the coming years. Why can't we have a Pan-Am Games banner in the background?

Will the relentless media feel the same way if the very stressed Mayor has a tragic heart attack? Leave the guy alone.

When it comes to gay rights, Africa is... errr... ???

Africans are just like the rest of us, right? We in the West -- Europe and North America -- are no more civilized or progressive than our dusky-hued brethren in the Dark Continent. Right? And they're just as committed to equality for everyone, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Right? That's what the "human rights activists" keep telling us.

However, as this Amnesty International map discloses, there is at least one significant difference between Europeans (including us gringos) and Africans. The latter overwhelmingly reject the sexual diversity which our governments, media and opinion-makers tell us we must embrace. The Church told us (under Pope Ratzinger at least) that homosexuality was "disordered". But in most African cultures, being gay is regarded as sick, depraved and contrary to the laws of God and nature!

It follows that homosexuals acts, even between consenting queers, are illegal in most of Africa -- the countries shown in red. Walt is surprised to find Chad, Niger and Mali (in west Africa) coloured grey, given the strong Islamic influence in those states. Perhaps they have not yet adopted Sharia law, which also forbids homosexual acts. But Sharia is surely coming, and the LGBT crowd should be packing their bags.

Turns out that queers from the "red countries" are already en route to Europe in record numbers. Having mastered the English word "REFUGEE", they are arriving by the hundreds in EU countries such as the Netherlands [home of Zwarte Piet! Ed.], where they believe they will be made welcome and gifted with houses, cars and condoms. Will you be surprised when Walt tells you the gay asylum-seekers are not entirely welcome? I thought not.

In fact the Dutch Council of State asked the European Court of Justice -- the EU's supreme court -- whether homosexuals could be considered a "particular social group" (thus potential victims of discrimination) and whether criminalization and possible imprisonment amount to persecution. Will you be surprised when Walt tells you the ECJ's opinion?

Not much of a spoiler here then. The ECJ ruled that homosexuals from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal who fear imprisonment in their home country have grounds for asylum in EU member states. Asylum can be granted, the court said, in cases where people are actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country.

The ECJ says laws specifically targeting homosexuals do indeed make them a separate group. (Walt guesses that would be "the LGBT community" that the gay rights activitists and our lamestream media bang on about.) But, the court said, it is up to the national authorities - in this case the Netherlands - to determine "whether, in the applicant's country of origin, the term of applied in practice". In other words, do the "homophobic" laws exist only on paper, or do places like Uganda actually lock up their queers?

Walt finds it interesting that the Netherlands would ask the ECJ "Do we have to take them?" What the Dutch -- always a practical people -- should be doing is greeting them at Schiphol and handing them one-way tickets to JFK, LAX or (best of all) SFO. [Crackheads could be sent to YYZ. Ed.] American and Canadian politicians wouldn't dare ask the queers to prove they were legitimate asylum-seekers. Hell no! Instead, they'd probably organize a "pride parade"!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Canuck version of Zwarte Piet?

Walt's earlier post about the Disunited Nations' disapproval of "Zwarte Piet" ("Black Pete") -- a character from Dutch Christmas tradition -- brought an almost instant message from Agent 3, with a link to "Board apologizes for vice-principal's blackface costume".

This story comes from the central Canadian province of Ontario, whose ultra-liberal Liberal government -- headed by a self-proclaimed lesbian -- is so politically correct that it won't offend anyone... except white, born-in-Canada Christians. If you work for an Ontario school board, woe betide you if you do, say or even think anything that could possibly be construed as racist, homophobic, Christian, pro-life, and so on ad nauseam.

The lesson was apparently not learned by Lionel "Blood" Klotz [no more cheap jokes, please. Ed.], a vice-principal at Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon, Ontario. Mr Klotz foolishly dressed up for Hallowe'en as, errr, Mister T. Fool!!!

Putting on blackface anywhere in Canada, even just to amuse the kiddiewinks, is like following a lit fuse in search of an explosion. You don't have to wait very long. Progressive thinkers in Caledon -- one of Canada's richest exurbs -- complained to the Peel District School Board, who duly investigated and found Mr Klotz guilty of racial insensitivity, for which he is going to be disciplined. And the school board has issued the standard grovelling apology to any and all who might have been offended.

Meanwhile, as seems to be SOP nowadays, an online petition in support of Mr Klotz has been started. Hundreds of students -- smarter than their teachers perhaps -- have already signed at #SaveKlotz2013. According to the Red Star, Mr Klotz could not be reached for comment this afternoon. Agent 3 thinks perhaps he's on his way to Amsterdam to take up a new position as a Zwarte Piet.

UN PC police out to get Zwarte Piet

Today Walt was saddened (but not surprised) to learn of the latest attack of the PC police on European Christian tradition. The target this month is a character from Dutch-Flemish folklore, an important part of the Santa Claus and Christmas tradition of the Netherlands and the northern part of Belgium.

The big day for good little Dutch boys and girls is December 6th. That's when Sinterklaas [= "Santa Claus"! Ed.] comes to town. Families gather together to read poems ["The Night Before Christmas" maybe? Ed.] and exchange gifts.

Jolly old Saint Nick doesn't come by reindeer-powered sleigh. No sir! He comes by boat, not from the North Pole but from Spain. And he has company, too -- a comical helper known as "Zwarte Piet". As you can see in the picture, "Black Pete" (as he would be called in English) has a black face, red lips and curly hair. So, as was bound to happen eventually, the chairthingy of a UN Human Rights Commission yesterday condemned Piet as "an offensive caricature of black people".

"The working group does not understand why it is that people in the Netherlands cannot see that this is a throwback to slavery, and that in the 21st century this practice should stop," Verene Shepherd told the Dutch television programme EenVandaag.

Many of the horrible racist Dutch -- including many dark-complected folks from the Dutch bits of the Caribbean -- disagree. Piet's supporters say he's a positive figure whose appearance is harmless. At one time, Piet was referred to as a "servant" of the elderly saint, but in recent years those references have been replaced with the idea that he gets black from soot as he climbs down chimneys to deliver toys and candy for children who leave their shoes -- wooden, of course -- out overnight.

Those opposed to tinkering with tradition have set up a Facebook page, with a "Pete-ition" [geddit? Ed.] to preserve the traditional appearance of Zwarte Piete. According to the Economist the page has already had over 2 million "likes", showing the strong emotional attachment that most Dutch have to the character. Being the last person on earth who refuses to join Facebook, I can't give you the link, but if you're on FB it shouldn't be hard to find it. Please do!

Further reading: "Christmas in Holland / the Netherlands".

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arab woman faces whipping for refusing to cover hair with hijab

Speaking of Islamic countries with severe laws -- see previous post -- Gulf News reports that a Sudanese woman has been accused of appearing "indecently attired" because she refused to cover her hair with a hijab. (If you're not sure what a hijab is, please see "Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?".)

Amira Osman Hamid faces a possible whipping if convicted of violating Sudan’s laws governing morality, which took effect after the 1989 Islamist coup. The defence asked in September that the charge be withdrawn, but the court in Khartoum* is waiting for the prosecutor to either send the file back to court for additional hearings, or to quash the case. No new date has been set for a further hearing, but one of the defence lawyers, Kamal [spellcheck, please. Ed.] Omar, said "This does not mean the case is finished."

Under Sudanese law all women are supposed to cover their hair with a hijab but Ms Hamid refuses, saying authorities "want us to be like Taliban women." She was charged after refusing a policeman’s order to cover her head while visiting a government office in Jebel Aulia in late August.

Ms Hamid's case has attracted international publicity and drawn support from the usual "human rights activists". The trial is reminiscent of the 2009 case of Lubna Ahmad Al Hussain, which led to a global outcry. The Sudanese journalist was fined for wearing slacks in public but she refused to pay, so spent one day behind bars. Others rounded up with her in a restaurant were flogged.

* Note from Ed.: I once knew a man from Khartoum...

"'Fuck off!' is not a curse where I come from," Canuck tells Dubai court

The United Arab Emirates is a country [group of states, surely! Ed.] in which Islam is the dominant religion [the ONLY religion, surely! Ed.] Thus they have very strict laws against blasphemy, and even, it appears, against obscenity.

An unnamed Canadian man is on trial this week on a misdemeanor charge of having sworn at an Arab (Egyptian) local, a representative of Etisalat, a UAE-based telecoms giant. The service technician told a court in Dubai, "When I attended his complaint pertaining to one of our services and told him that there had been a delay, he got angry. Then he told me 'Fuck you' -- twice! -- and told me to shut my mouth!"

In his defence, attorney Uday al-Kazwini told the court his client admits using the phrase "fuck off" when speaking to the client services worker. However, he said, "My client is a Canadian citizen and 'fuck off' is not an insult in Canada ... but 'fuck you' is a curse and an insult. 'Fuck off' is commonly used when a person expresses themselves metaphorically and asks another person, who angered them, to walk away."

The defendant told the court he became frustrated with the worker's attitude when he visited the Etisalat counter at Mirdif City Centre to complain about not receiving his bills. The trial continues.

Walt wonders if the unnamed defendant is really a Canadian. Wouldn't a true son of the Great Not-so-white North have said, "Fuck off, eh, hoser!"?

Monday, November 4, 2013

A good reason to ban the burqa

Meet Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed [One 'm' or two? Ed.], a suspected terrorist. Mr. Mohamed, who has been linked to the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, was subject to a "TPim" (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) order, aimed at protecting the British public from people believed to have engaged in terrorism-related activity but who it is not deemed feasible to prosecute or deport.

That shows you the British respect for justice and fair play and all that rot. In China this guy would have been shot! (They're not crazy about Muslim extremists there, you know.) In the USA he'd have been locked up, maybe at Gitmo. But in the UK all he had to do was promise to be a good boy and not blow himself to Paradise in the middle of a crowded street. Oh yeah, he had to wear a GPS tag too.

You probably can't see the GPS tag in the middle and right pix. Perhaps Mohammed Mohamed wasn't wearing it. Hard to tell. In fact it's hard to tell if the person in those pix is really Mr. Mohamed, or even someone of the male gender. That's the problem with the burqa, you see...or, rather, you don't see.

Neither did the London police. They believe now that Mr. Mohamed went to the An-Noor Masjid and Community Centre -- that's what they call a mosque when they don't want to upset people -- on Friday morning, and was seen inside around 3 p.m. (Ironically, the mosque is located on Church Road in Acton, one of the darker parts of London.) Sometime thereafter he walked out the door, clad in the full burqa as seen in the surveillance pix, and promptly disappeared. Kind of a Muslim variant on the old Hindu rope trick.

Mr. Mohamed is now "at large", as the saying goes. But he's probably not a threat to the public peace, since, after all, he is bound by the TPim, and faces restrictions on travel, movement, association and communication. So that's all right, then.

Further reading: Apparently some of the ink-stained wretches that pass themselves off as journalists haven't read "Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?", since some reports say Mr. Mohamed was wearing a niqab. No, you culturally illiterate clods! The "full Mohammed" is a burqa!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nothing "gay" about Hallmark Christmas ornament

Hallmark Cards is about much more than greetings cards. Much, much more! Look at their online catalogue and you'll see all kinds of stuff. Including "keepsake ornaments", which include 287 "Christmas" ornaments (of which a mere 20 are "faith-related").

One of the "secular" Christmas ornaments is this lovely miniature sweather -- you'll find it about a third of the way down the page -- bearing a phrase from the old Christmas carol "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly". [Isn't it "Deck Us All with Boston Charlie"? Ed.]
But, as you can see, the phrase has been updated a bit. Hallmark seems to think no-one wants to don "gay apparel" any more, so they've changed the adjective to "fun". "Don we now our fun apparel"... Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it. And, as surely as Boxing Day follows Christmas, the change has drawn the wrath of the LGBT "community".

On Thursday a spokesthingy for Hallmark Twittered, "We’ve been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we’re sorry to have caused so much concern. We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products, and in hindsight we realize we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament."

Hallmark did not say where negative reaction to the ornament came from, but according to Reuters a leader of at least one gay rights organization said on Friday that the company went overboard in using the word "fun" on the ornament. "The whole thing seems silly to us," lisped Mitch Levine, "community ambassador" of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City.

Perhaps Hallmark should send Mr(?) Levine one of their "craven apology" cards!