Friday, October 31, 2014

Is the Catholic Church about to disintegrate?

The handwriting may not yet be on the walls of the Vatican, but it's surely all over the media. Not just the Catholic or other religious media, but the secular lamestream media. They're having a field day predicting a massive schism which (they say) will divide the mainstream Roman Catholic Church into liberal and "conservative" factions.

"Conservative", in the context of the Church in the 21st century, should not be taken to mean "Traditionalist". The traditionalists have already left, gone to the Society of St. Pius X and beyond. Even the conservative and traditionalist Catholics who have remained within the "new and improved" Church of Pope Francis have become more and more disillusioned with him.

Now commentators on both sides of the Atlantic are talking of the possibility of a schism. That such a thing should even be mooted is by itself evidence of the discord sown by the policies and pronouncements [doubtless well-meaning! Ed.] of the most liberal pope of modern times. Here's a sampling of what's being said.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian (30/10) A Catholic church schism under Pope Francis isn’t out of the question. Walt takes responsibility for the emphasis in these excerpts.

Until this weekend, I had largely believed in the liberal narrative which holds that Pope Francis’s reforms of the Catholic church are unstoppable. But the conservative backlash has been so fierce and so far-reaching that for the first time a split looks a real, if distant, possibility.

One leading conservative, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, published over the weekend a homily he had prepared for the traditional Latin mass at which he started ruminating on papal authority. Pope Francis, he said, was the 266th pope, "and history has seen 37 false or antipopes".

Why mention them, except to raise the possibility that Francis might turn out to be the 38th false pope, rather than the 266th real one?

This is a fascinating nudge in the direction of an established strain of conservative...belief: that liberalising popes are not in fact real popes, but imposters, sent by the devil. ...if the pope is always right, as traditionalists would like to believe, and if this particular pope is clearly wrong, as traditionalists also believe, then obviously this pope is not the real pope.

I don’t think that’s what Pell meant, but it was odd and threatening to bring the subject up at all.

Less than a week previously, Ross Douthet penned (or typed) The Pope and the Precipice for the op-ed page of the New York Times. He suggests that:

If [Pope Francis] seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then conservative Catholics will need a clear-eyed understanding of the situation.

They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

Hmmm... "potential critics in the hierarchy"... like whom? Like Cardinal Raymond Burke, who, as Walt told you on October 16th, is being demoted from head of the Apostolic Signatura to the largely ceremonial role as head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Cardinal Burke refuses to go quietly into that good exile. According to “There is a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm”, the prelate told the Spanish publication Vida Nueva that "Many Catholics today have 'a strong sense that the Church is like a ship without a helm'." The report continues:

The American cardinal, who has become a focal point for the concerns of conservative Catholics, told Vida Nueva that many people have spoken to him about their fears for the direction of the Church. "They are feeling a bit seasick because they feel the Church’s ship has lost its bearings," he said.

Cardinal Burke stressed that "I do not wish it to seem like I am speaking out against the Pope." Rather, he said, he wanted to express a concern that many people now feel. The cardinal observed that Pope Francis has roused enthusiasm with his call for Catholics to go out to the peripheries to preach the faith. "But we cannot go to the peripheries empty-handed," he said.

"Faith cannot adapt to culture, but must call it to convert,” Cardinal Burke said. “We are a countercultural movement, not a popular one."

Finally (for the moment) we have commentary from Candida Moss [Really. A professor in the Theology department at Notre Dame. Ed.] who, in A Coming American Schism Over Pope Francis? compared "Bergoglio fever" to the worship of idols.

There have already been murmurings of discontent from US Catholic leaders. Bishop Thomas Tobin stated that he was slightly “disappointed” that the pope had yet to speak out about the abortion. And Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia acknowledged that some more conservative Catholics “generally have not been really happy” with Francis and that the pope will have to find a way “to care for them too.”

For a church that moves at a glacial pace, the murmurings of Bishops like Tobin are lightning fast and boldly subversive. The pro-hierarchy Catholics who criticized American nuns for not supporting the Vatican line are now attacking the hierarchy they once championed. Remarkable stuff, considering that Francis has not changed the Church’s teaching, only its emphasis and tone.

So far, those who feel disaffected by Francis’s papacy have responded by reassuring themselves that nothing has changed. But real divisions start with grumbling and there’s a subtly schismatic quality to those who have called Francis a "questionable example"....

For traditionalists..., "Is the Pope Catholic?" is a real question.

Indeed. What Walt finds significant about Prof. Moss's piece is not her credentials -- I'm not sure she's even Catholic -- but the dissenting voices she quotes. Neither Archbishop Chaput nor Bishop Tobin has ever been accused of being anything other than "mainstream". If their "murmurings" represent the sentiments of more than a few members of the Church hierarchy, a major upheaval could be imminent.

The bishops and priests who the Vatican today calls "schismatic" and those who it calls "popes" may well exchange positions, when God makes the Final Judgement.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lard butts more likely to die in car crashes than non-Americans


Why is the person in the middle more likely to die in a car accident than those on either side of her? [That's assuming that she makes it through the turnstile. Ed.]  A study published by the University at Buffalo in 2010 gives us the answer.

You would think that extra padding would serve to protect the fatties, kind of like built-in airbags. But noooo. UB researchers found that morbidly obese people were 56 per cent more likely to die in a crash than induhviduals [Hello, Scott Adams!] of normal weight. Moderately obese people were 21 per cent more likely to perish.

What lesson should we learn from this? Does it mean Americans -- the obese people with matching cars -- should think seriously about losing weight? Errr, no. Instead of instituting a national diet, the US nanny state is being urged to force manufacturers to build bigger, stronger cars to better protect the circumferentially challenged.

The lead researcher, Dietrich Jehle [Wonder if his surname rhymes with "belly"? Ed.] noted, "The rate of obesity is continuing to rise, so it is imperative that car designs are modified to protect the obese population, and that crash tests are done using a full range of dummy sizes. If they represented our overweight American society, there could be further improvements in vehicle design that could decrease mortality."

A follow-up study in 2012 found that obese drivers are less likely to wear seatbelts than normal weight drivers and that puts them at increased risk of injury or death in the event of a crash. So the solution, obviously (?), is to build crash-test dummies which are "more representative of the population" -- i.e. fatter -- which will lead to the design of safer vehicles.

So said Chris O'Connor, CEO of  Humanetics, one of the leading manufacturers of the dummies in the US, at the lunch ["launch", shurely! Ed.] of their newer, larger model. "If we have 35 per cent of our population that is obese and they're driving," he said, "certainly we want to make sure they are safe. I think we all know a neighbour, friend, relative, or we can speak of ourselves to say why shouldn't we be safe in these cars, as safe as anyone else?"

Indeed. And may I be the first to suggest a name for the new model. Call it "The Big Dummy". Good luck with that!

Whuffo everything in Armerica is about blacks? Fred Reed explains

Walt had kind of forgotten about Fred on Everything, a blog of scurrilous commentary written by Fred Reed. Agent 17 poked me (by e-mail) to tell me to read Fred's rant on "Black Power". I'm glad to have done so, and recommend that you, dear reader, do likewise. [He means you should read Fred's blog. Ed.]

To compare Walt's views with Fred's is to compare mayonnaise with five-star chili. I have to think that Fred is somewhere beyond the reach of the PC police [Maybe in Mexico? Ed.], that he gets away saying flat out what Walt only dares to suggest. I'll quote just a bit of Fred's question about why, half a century after the passage of laws guaranteeing "civil rights" (for everyone except us straight white men), "black issues" continue to dominate American politics.

It is curious that blacks, the least educated thirteen percent of the population, the least productive, most criminal, and most dependent on governmental charity, should dominate national politics. Yet they do. Virtually everything revolves around what blacks want, demand, do, or can’t do. Their power seems without limit.

Indeed. If you want to get down to specifics, click here to read the entire post. Kudos to Fred for being brave enough to call a spade a spade.

Note from Ed.: The only thing missing from Fred's post is a good illustration. Thanks to Agent 6 for this one.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Canuck PM apologizes for bailing on Islamic terrorist attack

As Walt told you in "Canada's PM Harper hid in closet during attack", when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (whom the Mounties now think might possibly have been motivated by Canada's foreign policy) opened fire in the Hall of Honour of Canada's main parliament building, Dear Leader Steve Harper ducked into a closet, while the rest of his party's MPs barricaded themselves inside their caucus room. [I think the title of the earlier piece made that clear. And the sentence is too long anyway! Ed.]

Any suggestion that Mr. Harpoon's bail-out could be construed as an act of cowardice is, of course, totally without foundation. Honi soit qui mal y pense! But just to make that clear, Steve made a grovelling apology to Tory MPs at this morning's caucus meeting, held in that very same room.

According to CBC News, "Harper told his hushed caucus Wednesday morning he felt remorse for surreptitiously ducking into a closet during last week's assault on Parliament Hill.... The prime minister...told some MPs he felt terrible leaving them behind while he was hustled off to a more secure location."

Terrible... really terrible... You bet, eh! But hey, Obama would have done the same thing, wouldn't he. The countries of the Coalition need their heads of state/government to lead the way to glory and, errr, well... glory, then... in Iraq and Syria [No! Just "the Levant"! Ed.] Stay strong, guys!

Archbishop of Chicago talks about the high price of US citizenship

On November 18th, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., retires from his position as Archbishop of Chicago. Widely viewed and respected as one of the more conservative of the mainstream Church's prelates, he is to be replaced by Archbishop Blase Cupich, deliberately chosen by the arch-modernist Pope Francis to lead the Windy City in the opposite direction.

In what might be seen as a parting shot, Cardinal George gave an e-mail interview to America, the national Catholic review. In the Q&A dialogue, he talked about his struggles with life-threatening cancer and the after-effects of childhood polio and a wide range of issues of the Church and the Faith, including; the role of an archbishop; the recent Synod of Bishops on the Family; the handling of sexual abuse by clerics; celibacy; and the defects of the Novus Ordo liturgy.

Here is what Cardinal George had to say about the conflict between church and state in the USA, and the criticism levelled by the secular humanists of the Church's speaking out on political issues.

I don’t believe the bishops have been more politically active in recent years, but it is true that our political activity is more adversarial as the law no longer permits the “exceptions” that used to safeguard believers whose conscience will not permit them to approve of what has become lawful.

The “price of citizenship” is high when it means one must approve as human rights the killing of the unborn, the creation of false marriages between two men or two women, the universal availability of free contraceptives, especially for women from a very young age.

My own conviction is that we must be completely clear about the Gospel and how it is to change us, and then we work respectfully with individuals and groups who cannot agree with us. I do not know that we will be permitted to have that pastoral approach in the immediate future. We will not be permitted to enter into the public conversation unless we approve of what our faith knows to be morally wrong.

I've excerpted this passage from Question No. 3, which was: Do you agree that the bishops have been more politically active in recent years and what do you consider the successes/weaknesses in their activity?. Click here to read Cardinal George's full answer. The complete interview is worth reading and thinking about...twice. And, trust me, you won't hear this kind of talk from Abp. Cupich!

Walt's favourite Mexican joke

Ed. here. Walt's been a little under the weather (or so he says) and the news is depressing, so I'm going to tell you one of Walt's favourite jokes.

In the dusty little capital of an obscure Mexican state, two Mexicans (or course) -- Juan and Miguel -- are sitting on their haunches at the side of the main street, doing nothing in particular, when the most important man in the town, Don Felipe, rides by on his horse. As he passes, he tips his hat and says "Buenos dias, Miguel!"

Amazed, Juan asks Miguel, "You know Don Felipe? He knows you?!"

"Of course I know Don Felipe," replies Miguel. "Jos de odder day, I'm sitting right here, all by myself, doing notting, when Don Felipe rides by, jos like today. But dat day he stops in front of me, leans over and says, 'Miguel Ramirez, ees it true you are escrewing my wife?!'

"What could I say? Eet ees true, so I admit it, like a man. Den Don Felipe pulls out his pistola, points it at me, an says, 'I'll teach you a lesson! You get down dere behind my horse and eat some of dose bollas my horse has jos dropped on de road!'

"What could I do? I get down behind de horse and I start to eat de horse bollas! But den, Don Felipe is laughing so hard dat he drop heez pistola! So I grab it and point it at heem and I say, 'OK, big shot, now it's your turn! You get down off dat horse and YOU eat de horse bollas!' And he do it...

"So how can you ask me if I know Don Felipe? Why, jos de odder day I had lunch with him!"

Saturday, October 25, 2014

VIDEO: Russell Brand questions political agenda in response to Islamic terrorist killings

As Walt pointed out yesterday, questions are already being asked about the true meanings of the terrorist attacks on Canadian soldiers early this week. While admitting that the killings were, in fact, terrorist attacks, Canuck PM Steve Harper and his bumboy Baird downplay the fact that both killers were converts to Islam and wannabe ISIS fighters. After all, we wouldn't want to let those inconvenient truths get in the way of our celebration of diversity!

President Obarmy, in like manner, contented himself with saying on Wednesday that "this obviously is something that we'll factor in in the ongoing efforts we have to counter terror attacks." What, exactly, does that mean? That's the question posed by comedian Russell Brand in the latest installment of his "Trews" series -- "true news so you don’t have to invest any money in buying newspapers that charge you for the privilege of keeping your consciousness imprisoned in a tiny box of ignorance and lies".

In his video, Mr. Brand dissects the political response to the murders. He says that Mr. Harpoon's speech had a political agenda, and accuses him of telling Canadians how to think. "It’s a very familiar and recognizable type of speech," Mr. Brand says. "'When these things happen, it’s an attack on all of us.' Is it? Is it, really? I know that’s what you’re saying, but where’s the evidence?"

Another good question. Indeed, a very good question. Watch the video.



Earlier this week on WWW:
"Harper's Islamic chickens come home to roost"
"Should the West be meddling in the Middle East? Good question!"

Walt makes a pilgrimage to see "Saint Vincent"

Mrs. Walt had been nagging me for years, literally, that I don't take her to the movies any more. My excuse that the last one we went to -- Johnny Depp's The Rum Diary -- was one of the all-time great stinkeroos, had worn a bit thin. "That was nearly three years ago!", she said.

I countered that there are very few good movies coming out of Hollywood/Bollywood/Nollywood these days, just horror/action movies involving lots of loud noise, violence, and scary and depressing stuff. Why, I asked, aren't there any cheerful and/or uplifting movies? "Here's one that's right up your alley," the missus replied. "It's about Saint Vincent. The Legion of Decency* probably approves of it." So off we went.

Turns out the movie St. Vincent isn't really about any of the great saints of ages past. Instead, it's about a (fictional) present-day saint, played by Bill Murray, in the best performance of his career (IMHO). Here's the synopsis, from IMDb. A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

And here's the official trailer.



The trailer suggests to me that St. Vincent is being sold as a comedy. It is not, or at least not the type of Bill Murray comedy we're used to. Caddyshack or Ghostbusters it's not. Rather, it's a quite sentimental comedy-drama, with a really soppy (but nonetheless satisfactory) denouement, good for at least one hankie.

The plotline reminded me of As Good As It Gets, one of Jack Nicholson's less impressive efforts, although "Vincent" (Murray) is not as weird as Nicholson's character. The story is similar, although less complex. Struggling single mom with sickly kid is befriended, in spite of himself, by grumpy old curmudgeon. No LGBT-promoting side-plot in this one though.

"Oliver", the runty but clever boy who Vincent takes under his unshaven and grubby wing, is played very well by Jason Lieberher, a less-obnoxious young Macaulay Culkin.

Melissa McCarthy turns in a fine performance as "Maggie", the struggling, just-divorced mom. I found it laudable that the heroine of a movie set in today's America would be portrayed as a full-figured lady, rather than the untypical likes of Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston. Maggie has what Shakespeare would have called a soliloquy (telling her boy's teachers about the problems at home) which Ms McCarthy did so well as to cause a deal of muted sobbing and sniffing in the seats around me.

A commendable performance was also given by Chris O'Dowd as "Brother Geraghty", Oliver's religion teacher at St. Patrick's school. If only we really had truly Catholic schools like St. Patrick's, staffed by truly religious teachers like Brother Geraghty. But alas, St. Patrick's school is, in modern-day North America, fictional...very fictional.

Walt gives St. Vincent **** (four stars). I enjoyed it.

* Footnote: The Catholic Legion of Decency no longer exists as such. Its mission -- to identify and combat objectionable content in films and other media -- is now being carried on, in a desultory fashion, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting, to whom no-one pays the least bit of attention.

Dinner and a show

Last night Mrs. Walt and I hied ourselves down the road to the new Cineplex in Fort Dreary to see Saint Vincent, the latest Bill Murray movie. More about that in a few minutes. First, an observation about our changing society. We are evolving, and not, as Mark Steyn details in After America, for the better.

Walt remembers going to the cinema -- or "theater"/"theatre" if you prefer, although to me that term refers only to live or "legitimate" theatre -- for the Saturday matinee. 25 cents (made of silver back then) got you into the show, with enough left over for a small box of popcorn, minuscule by today's standards. The popcorn came with salt, but no "golden topping".

Nowadays the popcorn counter in the lobby has lengthened to almost a block -- well, let's say 20 or 30 feet -- and offers an amazing array of junk food and fizzy drinks. Popcorn comes in a number of sizes, except for small or medium. You can get XL, XXL, XXXL and American. The bucket that I saw a fat lady buying reminded me of the feedbag that the milkman used to hang on old Dobbin's head about halfway through his round.

Speaking of feedbags, I observed that in addition to the long, long popcorn counter, the cinema now boasts a mini food court! Yep, there's a snack counter where you can get 1000s of calories in a clamshell -- burgers, fries, and assorted other starches and carbs.

There were a few chairs and tables, but no-one sat at them. Instead, they took their supersized portions of lard (referring to the alleged food, not their butts) into the auditorium, the better to gorge themselves while watching whatever was on the silver screen. The young lady sitting beside me ate her way through the entire feature singlehandedly. By that I mean she dug whatever she was eating out of the container with one hand, while texting (surprised?) with the other.

Time was, when a young swain invited his girl out for dinner and a show, it was understood to be dinner first, then the show. Now, it seems, we can do both at the same time. Modern life is just one big bouffe, with a bit of entertainment on the side. And here (pictured) is the result.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Canada's PM Harper hid in closet during attack

Walt cannot resist passing on the revelation (from AFP this morning) that when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Islamic terrorist wannabe, stormed down the Hall of Honour in the Centre Block of the parliament buildings, Canuck Prime Minister Steve Harper jumped -- or was shoved, depending on whose version of the story you believe -- into a closet!

Walt wonders if there was enough room for the full-figured Harper, along with his Foreign Affairs Minister, John "Nancy" Baird, and Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism. [sic] Unlike Messrs Baird and Kenney, Mr. Harpoon came out of the closet once the echos of gunfire had died away.

Nancy was quick to deny that there was any link between Zehaf-Bibeau and ISIS [or "ISIL", as Baird keeps calling it. Ed.]. The fact that Mme Bibeau said her son was trying to get a passport to go to Syria to fight perhaps escaped Mr. Baird's notice. So too the report that, having had his passport lifted by the Mounties, Zehaf-Bibeau applied for a passport from, errr, Libya.

Elsewhere... the arch-conservative David Frum -- sometime advisor to Republicans right up to the presidential level, but actually a Canuck! -- has penned (possibly using a quill) "The Allure of Radical Islam in Canada", in which he undertakes to advise Canadians (presumably including Messrs Harper and Baird) what they can do about it.

What is Mr. Frum's advice to a troubled people? In a word, "adapt". No mention of booting the Islamic extremists out of the country, or (even better) letting them go fight their battles in their cultural homeland. No mention of resigning from Obarmy's coalition and leaving the Muslims alone to slaughter each other in the name of the Prophet. Just "adapt".

Should the West be meddling in the Middle East? Good question!

"East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." So wrote Rudyard Kipling, well over a century ago. He was talking about culture clash, and the folly of multiculturalism, long before the term was even invented. His point was that, no matter what the preachers tell us, people are different. Different peoples have different cultures, different belief systems, different ways of looking at the world and at other peoples.

Our "civilized/progressive/modern" Western ways may not be the best ways for all peoples. We may judge such cultural norms and practices as beheading infidels and shunning homosexuals "old-fashioned/barbaric/heathen" or maybe "just plain wrong". But if some people -- Arabs, for example -- see those things as right, according to their lights, shouldn't we just leave them to it? Who are we Westerners to impose our notions of democracy, our culture, our beliefs or anything else on them?

Walt is not the only one posing such questions. On the CBC News website today, ace Middle Eastern correspondent Nahlah Ayed asks "Should the West stop intervening in the Middle East?" Ms Ayed has thought the question through thoroughly, but for some reason [Because she works for the CBC? Because she doesn't want to betray any pro-Muslim bias? Ed.] doesn't come to any conclusion beyond "Though all these options are debatable, we are now almost beyond the question. The West has intervened, and is intervening, and the pushback has now touched Canada at home. Agree or not, we have entered an indeterminate period of turbulence."

Well... yeah! Duhhh.

In the Globe and Mail, Patrick Martin tells us "There are consequences to joining the war against the Islamic State". [Sorry, no link for this one; it's behind the Groan and Wail's stupid paywall. Ed.] Again, duhhh! Didn't Walt say just that two days ago, in "Harper's Islamic chickens come home to roost"? You betcha!

What's surprising to me is that the hard questions are being asked, and the folly of Western intervention in a Muslim vs Muslim conflict pointed out, so quickly. We are already hearing acknowledgments from the US military leadership that the war against ISIS [They're still saying "ISIL". Ed.] is not going well.

Sober and thoughtful people are already reminding the Prez and his hangers-on (like Canada's Steve Harper) to remember the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their war -- for it is their war, not to be blamed on previous administrations -- is not only unwinable, but based on a bad premise, namely that we should impose the values of our "civilization" on a people who clearly don't and won't believe that "the Western way is the best way."

Walt asks how many more lives will have to lost and how many billions of dollars wasted before we finally learn?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Muslim enemies within

Yesterday, in "Harper's Islamic chickens come home to roost" Walt speculated [Do you speculate often? Ed.] that the gunman who shot a Canadian soldier -- a reservist, the poor bugger -- would turn out to be "yet another Islamic terrorist, whether homegrown or imported, perhaps as a refugee or asylum-seeker under Canada's notoriously lax immigration laws."

Meet Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, now the late Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, thanks to the deadly aim of the Sergeant-at-Arms of Canada's House of Commons. Here's what we know about him. His father was Bulgasem Zehaf, an immigrant (or possibly refugee) from Libya or elsewhere in North Africa. His mother is Susan Bibeau, who just happens to be Deputy Chairthingy of the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada! Any suggestion that Ms Bibeau somehow facilitated the admission to Canada of Mr. Zehaf is, of course, completely unfounded.

The elder Zehaf wasn't anywhere around yesterday. Perhaps he is still in Libya, where he went to fight in the unpleasantness of 2011. Who he fought for is unknown, but it probably wasn't our side. Ms Bibeau was not returning e-mails yesterday, and staff in her office declined to comment.

According to the Globe and Mail, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in the Montréal area, where his mother still lives, and, like his dad, spent some time in Libya. His friend Dave Bathurst told the G&M that Michael came back to western Canada where he worked occasionally as a miner and labourer.

Mr. Bathurst said he met Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau in a Burnaby, B.C., mosque about three years ago. In the interview, Mr. Bathurst said his friend frequently talked about the presence in the world of Shaytan -- an Arabic term for devils and demons. He last saw Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau six weeks ago, praying in a Vancouver-area mosque, when he told his friend he wanted to go to the Middle East soon, to study Arabic and learn about Islam.

Apparently the Mounties got wind of this, for Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was unable to get a passport from Canadian officials, who have been taking measures to prevent Muslim Canucks from joining Islamic extremists overseas. Walt suggests (again) that it might have been better to let him go. Certainly it would have been better for Corporal Nathan Cirillo, RIP.

Walt's score on this prediction: 1.000. Lifetime pct: .951.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Harper's Islamic chickens come home to roost


Walt hopes that the Globe and Mail's David Parkin, won't mind our copying his excellent editorial cartoon from a few days back. [Don't sue! We're not making any money on this! Ed.] The point being made is that Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper and his gay Minister of Foreign Affairs could hardly have expected that their decision to enlist in President Obarmy's coalition against ISIL* would be without consequences.

A young Canuck, fighting on the side of the Islamic terrorists, had posted a video, not long before, warning "we're coming to get you!" -- referring to not just the Great Satan but the British, Canadians, Australians and any others who would dare to wage war on them, or stand in the way of their jihad to establish a New Caliphate in the Middle East.
(The phrase "New Caliphate" was actually used way back in 2011 by Mark Steyn, in After America!)

Ignoring the warning, as well as the protestations of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Mr. Harpoon used his majority in Canada's Parliament to push through approval of his commitment of half a dozen of the Royal Canadian Air Force's aging CF-18 Hornets to the bombing campaign against ISIS* in Iraq. As for boots on the ground, a couple of dozen Canadian soldiers are already in station, although of course they are supposedly just training/advising/consulting/whatever. The commitment is supposedly for a period of six (6) months.

Is Canada in, or just partly in? Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who famously refused to join in the Bush War in Iraq said "Either you're in or you're not," adding that once you sent even one soldier or one airplane, you're in.

Having effectively declared war on the Islamic State*, Mr. Harper should not be surprised that the IS* has now declared war on Canada. In terms of casualties, the score so far is IS 2 - Canada 2. And we're not talking civilians here, but military casualties -- two Canadian soldiers killed by Islamic terrorists (or terrorist wannabes) not in the Middle East, but right in the middle of Canada, at or near the nation's capital.

On Monday, a "radicalized" young convert to Islam, Martin "Ahmad" Rouleau, sat in his car near a Tim Hortons in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (a Montréal suburb, home to the Collège Militaire Royal), waiting for some soldiers to finish their coffee. When they came out, he punched the gas pedal and ran a couple of them down, killing Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, a 28-year career soldier. Following a car chase, Rouleau was dead by Québec police.

Québec's International Affairs Minister, Christine St-Pierre, said "It’s terrible, it’s very sad, we have to be concerned about that, we have to fight those phenomena." She did not hesitate to call the hit-and-run slaying a terrorist attack.

Turns out that M. Rouleau was known to police, having in fact been arrested by the Mounties a couple of weeks before the incident. He told them something to the effect that he wanted to go to Syria and fight with ISIS*, so they took away his passport. Seems to Walt it would have been better to let him go, so whatever fighting he was going to do would be over there, not in his own back yard!

Now to this morning's shootings in Ottawa. As I write, reports (sometimes conflicting) are still coming in. This much is clear. Parliament Hill came under attack around 10 a.m. today, when a man with a rifle shot and killed a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial.

He then seized a car and drove right up to the doors of the nearby Centre Block. You could still do that in Ottawa because, hey, these things only happen in Washington. Members of Parliament and other witnesses reported that 30 to 50 shots were fired inside the building, some by the gunman and some by the House of Commons Sergeant at Arms, whose aim was apparently better than that of the gunman, who was confirmed dead in the main hall.

Ottawa police confirmed within the last hour that the soldier died from his injuries. He was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a reserve unit based in Hamilton, Ontario, which was doing guard duty at the War Memorial this week.

The identity or nationality of the gunman has not been revealed, but Walt is assuming -- along with 99% of the media and everyone else -- that he was yet another Islamic terrorist, whether homegrown or imported, perhaps as a refugee or asylum-seeker under Canada's notoriously lax immigration laws. Any connection with Monday's killing will probably be denied or downplayed, for fear of provoking a backlash against Muslims...and against Mr. Harper's ill-considered decision to be part of a fight in which Canada has no dog.

* Note on nomenclature: The Prez and his camp followers (Messrs Harper et al.) insist on calling the Islamic terrorists "ISIL", standing for "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant". The media and everybody else calls them "ISIS", for "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria", which is what they call themselves. Or just "IS" for "Islamic State". Why does the Great Leader of the Coalition keep saying "ISIL"? Because to say "ISIS" would imply that we are going to be fighting (or bombing, at least) in Syria, which would be the same as supporting the Syrian government of Basher Assad, and of course we wouldn't want to do that.

Further reading on WWW: "Are you confused about the war in the Middle East?"

Monday, October 20, 2014

How to choose a good English name - tips from Chinese TV

As any English-speaker (like Ed.) who has taught at a Chinese university (like Ed.) knows, Chinese who aspire to anything -- education, a career or doing business -- outside of China sooner or later choose an English name for themselves. They do so because Westerners struggle with even the simplest Chinese names, because of the difficulty in getting the tones right. Besides, "if these furriners want to do stuff with us, they'd better learn to talk white!"

Good advice, but the problem is that Chinese people, either trying to be creative or show admiration for all things Western, often pick really dumb names. Ed. kept a list of some of the odder names chosen by his students, including: boys - Mosquito, Iverson, Jean, Dragon; girls - Apple (had several of those), Cherry (OK, not so strange) and Kiki (which is funny if you speak Tagalog).

To the rescue comes CCTV, the Chinese state television network, which has just published, on one of its websites, "Tips for Chinese choosing an English name".

Good names, they say, are traditional English names like Elizabeth, Catherine, William or George. (If you haven't guessed how they picked those four, have a look at who's pictured on the web page.) "Pick one of these 'conservative' names if you're looking for a 'safe' English name, often with implications of wealth.... They also have a distinct feeling of 'Britishness', or rather, 'Caucasianess'." Right. Got it. Nothing racist about the Chinese.

Names to be avoided, CCTV says, are those of avoid fictional characters, names with the potential for sexual innuendo, or random words like "Dragon" (sure enough), "Fish" or "Lawyer". The last one, they advise, could come back and haunt you "if you want a call back from that serious law firm in America." Right again.

An English name should "come with a 'feeling' or idea about what sort of person you are, and where you come from", so names such as "Satan" or "Dumbledore" are out, the website says. Women are told to think carefully about "food" names such as Candy (indeed), Lolly or Sugar, which might be seen as "stripper names". Walt doesn't think "Apple" is a "stripper name", only kind of childish and dumb.

CCTV helpfully gives as well a lengthy warning about names with sexual connotations, especially when used in conjunction with common Chinese surnames, such as Dong or Wang, which "are used as slang for male genitalia". Wow! Really? So readers are warned "to avoid anything like 'Bunny Wang' at all times."

Now if only some American would make up a list of white trash/soap opera names to be avoided, such as "Brittany", "Ashley", "Jaden", "Tyler", "Taylor" [That's enough. Ed.] Or distinctive black names which appear to have been thought up on a visit to the supermarket. "Yo listen here, Velveeta! Yeah, an' yo sistah Visine too!"

High-pressure chocolate bar sales "charity" now in Québec

Looks like someone has researched the Help Kids Canada scam -- mentioned in the summer of 2013 in "Chocolate for charity scam still operating?" and "14-year-old selling chocolate bars victim of sexual assault" -- and figured if it worked in English-speaking Canada, it would work in francophone Canada as well.

Let us welcome into the highly competitive world of chocolate bar sales a Québec-based company called Ado-Boulot. That's who you call, their website says (in French, of course) if you want a successful fundraising campaign to raise money for your charity.

According to a report from Montréal on CBC News, Ado-Boulot, in addition to fundraising for non-profits, does a fair bit of selling for its own account.

The company's website says it donates a part of the sale proceeds -- how big a part is not specified -- to a registered charity called la Fondation d’Adolescents en Difficulté du Québec (FAD). Ado-Boulot also says it helps pay for activities for its teenage employees,including field trips to water slides or La Ronde, and that it organizes humanitarian trips to Cuba and other countries.

A quick look at FAD's website makes Walt wonder if there is any connection between FAD and Ado-Boulot other than using the same web designer. For instance... could it be that Ado-Boulot is using Help Kids Canada's sales scripts? CBC Montréal Investigates says a local mother is raising questions about the sales techniques taught by the company to teens selling chocolate bars door to door.

The tactics include "suggesting" that good-hearted people -- read "suckers" -- buy “two, four, eight or even ten of the five-buck bars to encourage the kids. And they're told to place two chocolate bars into the hands of a potential, rather than just one, to suggest that two is the minimum which any caring person would buy.

But what if the customer has diabetes? The script used by Ado-Boulot says the proper response to that objection is "I understand, sir or ma’am, that you’re diabetic but you could offer it to one of your loved ones."

Even if FAD is real, even if Ado-Boulot helps to fund it, the tactics are still pretty hard-sell. Just like Help Kids Canada.

Two jokes that even celebrities can't tell on American TV

Walt has lifted the following passage from "The Age of Intolerance", by Mark Steyn, writing in National Review Online.

Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American television.... First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill: "I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory."

Second joke from the archives: Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra kept this one in the act for a quarter-century. On stage, Dino used to have a bit of business where he’d refill his tumbler and ask Frank, "How do you make a fruit cordial?" And Sinatra would respond, "I dunno. How do you make a fruit cordial?" And Dean would say, "Be nice to him."

Badabing, badaboom!

If you haven't already guessed why such jokes are now politically incorrect, read the article. Mark Steyn is currently at the top of Walt's list of must-read socio-political commentators, and it's high time I let you know where you can find him online.

I also want mention, for the second time in recent days, his excellent book After America (Regnery Publishing, 2011). It should be read immediately after Matt Taibbi's Griftopia (Spiegel & Grau, 2010), reviewed here last week. That's what I've been doing this weekend. I have the bad habit of dog-earing pages on which I find something that needed saying said well, [Hello! Remember me? Do you need some help this morning? Ed.] and about every third page of After America has been so treated.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Breaking news: Majority of bishops reject "Welcome gays!" document

From the Vatican, AP reports that Catholic bishops have, by a majority vote, scrapped the "openness to gays and their gifts and qualities" set out in an interim report of the Synod on the Family.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down version of the section on ministering to gays, which stripped away the welcoming tone contained in a draft document published by the pro-LGBT Vatican Press Office earlier in the week.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod -- whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive communion -- also failed to pass.

BBC News calls the vote against the proposals a setback for Pope Francis. In spite of the vote against the revised sections, the Pope said the full draft document should be published. Walt guesses that's so the world can see how homophobic and reactionary are the bishops outside of the Vatican's gay mafia.

Stay tuned for great fits of pissing and moaning from not just the BBC but every "progressive" secular humanist commentator in the world. Walt will post some commentary from the other side -- the traditional Catholic side -- as it becomes available.

And here's the first one, the report of an interview Cardinal Robert Sarah gave to Catholic World News. Key quotes:
- The Church has never judged homosexual persons, but homosexual behavior and homosexual unions are grave deviations of sexuality.
- Let us pray for those pastors who leave the Lord’s sheep to the wolves of decadent and secularized society, far from God and nature.

In case you missed them, here are links this week's posts on the Synod:
Oct. 14: Catholic bishops say "interim report" asking Church to welcome homosexuals grossly misrepresented by pro-LGBT media
Oct. 16: Even a liberal Cardinal calls pro-LGBT Synod report "worthless"

Woman pukes in Pentagon parking lot, panic ensues

Walt's Weekend Quiz... Of which of the following dangers is the average American most afraid? Is it that:

(a) Islamic terrorists will storm out of the local mosque and behead the star reporter for the Morning Fishwrap?

(b) The speculators who drove the price of gas first up, then down, will connive to make it go back up over four dollars a gallon?

(c) A black person will vomit on their sidewalk, causing them to catch Ebola and die?

Judging from yesterday's reaction to a "protein spill" in a parking lot at the Pentagon, the correct answer would seem to be (c). The headline kind of gave it away, didn't it.

In a nutshell -- and that's a good word for this nonsense -- a woman, who Walt guesses was black, although the media are too PC to say so -- got off a bus in front of the Pentagon and threw up. Within two minutes -- not from when the barf hit the ground but from when she stepped off the bus -- emergency responders were on the scene. A tent was erected over the puddle. Hazmat gear was donned. Samples were taken. And the poor woman was rushed off to a nearby hospital where she was quarantined until it was determined that, errr, she hadn't been to West Africa, indeed hadn't been out of the USA in years, and, errr, was probably just suffering from motion sickness.

Walt blames the lamestream media for whipping average `Merkans into a near-constant state of frenzy with scare stories about threats that are virtually non-existent. Admittedly, I don't have the statistical proof for this, but I'd guess you have a better chance of being hit by lightning or winning the Superball lottery than catching Ebola. But in the Paranoid States of America, the media tells us we should be afraid, and we are very very afraid!

Book review: Matt Taibbi explains why, in the new American ghetto, voting doesn't matter

In "Why Hong Kong's 'umbrella revolution' matters", Walt said The people of China would love to have the freedom of the ballot. Some are prepared to die for it. If you have it and don't use it, don't be surprised if one day you lose it.

Seemed like an irrefutable argument to me, until Agent 3 thrust into my hands a copy of Griftopia, by Matt Taibbi (Spiegel & Grau, 2010). In this eminently readable book, Mr. Taibbi dips his pen in vitriol and deconstructs the financial crisis of 2008-9 in language that even a non-economist like Walt can understand. He shows how the rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street was the work of the network of crooks, grifters and looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power.

However, Griftopia is more than an angry condemnation of the past. The author predicts that, with the grifters even more in control now than ever before, the whole maggot-gagging scenario is bound to be repeated again -- an argument that Walt finds thoroughly convincing in light of this weeks gut-wrenching ride on the Wall Street roller coaster.

I don't normally copy lengthy quotes from books I recommend, but I found the description and explanation of the new American ghetto -- the one Mr. Taibbi says we are powerless to change -- so compelling that I'm going to break my rule [You mean my rule! Ed.] Here are more than a few choice words from the introductory chapter.

In the new American ghetto, the nightmare engine is bubble economics, a kind of high-tech casino scam that kills neighborhoods just like dope does, only the product is credit, not crack of heroin. It concentrates the the money of the population in just a few hands with brutal efficiency, just like narco-business, and just as in narco-business the product itself, debt, steadily demoralizes the customer to the point where he's unable to prevent himself from being continually dominated.

In the ghetto, nobody gets real dreams. What they get are short-term rip-off versions of real dreams. You don't get real wealth, with a home, credit, a yard, money for your kids' college -- you get a fake symbol of wealth, a gold chain, a Fendi bag, a tricked-out car you bought with cash. Nobody gets to be really rich for long, but you do get to be pretend rich, for a few days, weeks, maybe even a few months. It makes you feel better to wear that gold, but when real criminals drive by on the overpass, they laugh.

It's the same in our new ghetto. We don't get real political movements and real change; what we get, instead, are crass show-business manipulations whose followers' aspirations are every bit as laughable and desperate as the wealth dreams of the street hustler with his gold rope. What we get, in other words, are moderates who don't question the corporate consensus dressed up as revolutionary leaders, like Barack Obama, and wonderfully captive opposition diversions like the Tea Party -- the latter a fake movement for real peasants....

The new America...is fast becoming a vast ghetto in which all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a relatively tiny oligarchy of extremely clever financial criminals and their castrato henchmen in government, whose main job is to be good actors on TV and put on a good show.

This invisible hive of high-class thieves stays in business because when we're not completely distracted and exhausted by our work and entertainments, we prefer not to ponder the dilemma of why gasoline went over four dollars a gallon, why our pension funds just lost 20 percent of their value, or why when we do the right thing by saving money, we keep being punished by interest rates that hover near zero, while banks that have been the opposite of prudent get rewarded with free billions.

In reality political power is simply taken from most of us by a grubby kind of fiat, in little fractions of a percent here and there each and every day, through a thousand separate transactions that take place in fine print and in the margins of a vast social mechanism that most of us are simply not conscious of.

Wow! Scary. And depressing. All the same,Griftopia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of politics and finance in the Excited States of America. If you read it, at least you'll understand what's going on as the country discovers it can't awaken from Mr. Taibbi's nightmare.

Also recommended: On the same general theme -- why America is going to hell in a handbasket -- Walt recommends Mark Steyn's After America (Regnery Publishing, 2011). He and Matt Taibbi were writing at almost the same time, about the same subject. Although they approach the issue of America's decline and fall from opposing ends of the political spectrum, they reach the same depressing conclusion. Could they be wrong? Can Americans give their heads a shake, get rid of the grifters and restore the nation to its former greatness? Walt wouldn't be on it. Lifetime pct .947.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are you confused about the war in the Middle East?

Walt has been preoccupied this week with the queer vibrations emanating from the Vatican, and didn't get around to saying something about the war "we" -- Obama's coalition -- are already losing. Agent 6 has come to the rescue, sending along the following explanation.

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS.
We don't like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like.
We don't like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him.
We don't like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS.

So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends,
And some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose,
But we don't want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.
If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less.

And all this was started by US invading a country to drive out terrorists
who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out.

Even a liberal Cardinal calls pro-LGBT Synod report "worthless"

Something got lost in the translation! Believe it or not, that, according to the Catholic News Agency's Vatican observer, Andrea Gagliarducci, is the Vatican's excuse for how the controversial Interim Report of the Synod on the Family came to be "misunderstood".

The document was written in Italian, which Pope Francis directed to be used as the official language of the synod. He did this because, as New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan admitted not long ago, few of the prelates can read or understand Latin any more. That the language of the Church has at last become "dead" is yet another of the poisoned fruits of Vatican II. Too bad, because Latin has always been esteemed by lawyers and theologians for its precision and lack of ambiguity.

The hoo-hah about the Church's sudden admiration for the LGBT community, as reported here on Tuesday, arises (they tell us now) from a mistranslation of paragraph 50 of the relatio [report]. The Italian original, after praising the "gifts and talents" homosexuals may [my emphasis] give to the Christian community, asked: "le nostre comunità sono in grado di esserlo accettando e valutando il loro orientamento sessuale, senza compromettere la dottrina cattolica su famiglia e matrimonio?"

In the English translation provided by the Vatican, this is rendered as: "Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?"

The key word "valutando" would be better translated as "evaluating," and, in this context, "weighing" or "considering". The English translation, however, suggests that the homosexual orientation should be "valued", a notion that old fuddie-duddies who are faithful to the traditional teaching of the Church find confusing, to say the least. Any suggestion that the use of "valuing" by the Vatican Press Office reveals a pro-LGBT bias are of course groundless!

Meanwhile... Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- aka the Holy Office in the old days when the name was appropriate -- has denounced the report as "worthless". Speaking in one of the Synod’s small working groups after the release of the relatio post disceptationem, the prelate said the document was "completely wrong" in its portrayal of the Synod fathers’ discussion. He added that it was "shameful" that the report had suppressed some points of view while promoting, errr, certain others.

More pushback came from South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, who told journalists the document had been misunderstood and that’s why it had caused "such an upset" -- the more so because the relatio is only an "interim report", and the Synod has not yet ended. "We couldn't possibly have agreed on it," he said, yet "The message has gone out, it is not what we are saying at all.... [But] there’s no way of retrieving it. It is not a true position. Whatever goes out after looks like damage control."

In a full page interview published in the Italian daily Il Foglio, American Cardinal Raymond Burke said, "It seems to me that information is being manipulated in a way that gives comment to only one theory instead of faithfully reporting the various positions expressed.... This worries me very much because a significant number of bishops do not accept the ideas of an opening, but few [people] know that."

Curiously, "Bully" Burke did not name those whom he held responsible for pushing the pro-queer agenda. He could only have meant the Vatican Press Office, which, as noted above, supplied the translation. Walt would have thought the Cardinal would have felt a little more freedom to name names, since he's being demoted from head of the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican "Supreme Court") to exile in the largely ceremonial role as head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. See "Pope Plans on Exiling Conservative Catholic Hero Cardinal Raymond Burke" on Breitbart.

Also on Tuesday, Cardinal Burke told Catholic World Report that the bishops "cannot accept" any changes that are not based in Scripture or Church teaching. He also said that a statement on the issue from Pope Francis is "long overdue". According to Marco Tosatti, writing in La Stampa, the Pope doesn't say anything during the Synod sessions, but contents himself with scribbling little notes which he passes to the Synod’s secretary-general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri.

Further reading: Sinodo, il cardinale Mueller all'attacco: "Relazione vergognosa". Right... it's in Italian. But you can use Google Translator.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The truth is out! The new mass was created by a "contemptible" Freemason

Regular readers of WWW will know that Walt is a traditional Catholic, one who rejects the "new, improved Catholic Church" which emerged from Vatican II. The most poisonous of all the "fruits" of that Council was the Novus Ordo Missae, the "New Mass" which the priest who writes the Traditio blog always calls the "New Mess". For so it is. Aesthetically, liturgically and (above all) theologically, the new mass is an abomination.

In its misguided effort to "keep up with the times", the Roman Catholic Church changed the Mass of All Time, beginning with the Missal of John XXIII in 1962 and culminating the New Order Liturgy imposed on the Church in October 1967 in spite of the objections of the Episcopal Synod. What's wrong with the New Mass? Click here to read "The Ottaviani Intervention", an open letter dated 25 September 1969 from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to Pope Paul VI.

The leader of the movement for "reform" of the liturgy was then-Father Annibale Bugnini, who later become an archbishop and was made Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Only too late did we learn that Bugnini's goal was not simply to "reform" the Mass of St. Pius V, which had been the norm in the Roman Catholic Church for four centuries, but to make the Mass acceptable to Protestants, Jews and other non-believers. In so doing, he made it virtually un-Catholic!

Less than a month after publication of The Ottaviani Intervention, Abp. Bugnini was suddenly transferred out of the Vatican. After Paul VI learned that he (Bugnini) was actually a Freemason, he was made apostolic nuncio to Iran! Perhaps Bugnini was one of those Paul VI had in mind when he said, shortly before his death, that "the smoke of Satan has entered the Church."

One of those who served with then-Father Bugnini on the Consilium -- the group charged with reforming the Latin liturgy -- was Father Louis Bouyer, an eminent theologian who believed in the Faith of our father with the strength and conviction of the convert he was. Father Bouyer died in 2004, and now his memoirs have been published in France.

Noted Vaticanista Sandro Magister talks about Father Bouyer and his memoirs in "Le fiammeggianti memorie del convertito che Paolo VI voleva far cardinale" He writes, "Being called to serve on one of the preparatory commissions for Vatican II, Bouyer immediately realized from his own experience its greatness and its wretchedness, and soon pulled back from it."

The memoirs show how this Bugnini manipulated the process of liturgical reform during and after Vatican II. Father Bouyer had high praise for Joseph Ratzinger, Magister notes, and was himself highly regarded by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini, who in 1963 became Pope Paul VI.

"Montini wanted Bouyer on the committee for the reform of the liturgy," Magister says, "presided over 'in theory' by Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, 'a generous man' but 'incapable of resisting the maneuvers of the criminal and unctuous' Annibale Bugnini, secretary and factotum of that same body, [described by the theologian] as 'as devoid of learning as he was of honesty'."

Father Bouyer records that Father Bugnini, whom he called “contemptible”, would dismiss other committee members' concerns about certain changes in the liturgy, saying, "The Pope wants it so." But, he recalls, when he spoke directly with Paul VI about the proposed changes, the Pontiff told him that Father Bugnini had claimed the working committee was unanimous in seeking the changes! Thus Father Bouyer concludes that Pope Paul was maneuvered into "approving without being in any way more than content with it than I was."

Contemptible indeed. Yet even now Francis, the most liberal pope since [Ed., can you fill in a name here? I can't think of any. Walt] is quietly suppressing the old "extraordinary" rite permitted by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio "Summum Pontificum". The "reform" continues, and the Catholic Faith will be preserved only outside the Church, in the minds and hearts of true believers like Father Bouyer, RIP.

For further commentary on the disaster that is the "New Mass" click on the link in "What's wrong with the canonization of John Paul II" for a few choice words from Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant.

Recommended reading: The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy, by Father Paul Kramer. Compares the New Mass and the traditional Roman Rite and presents surprising yet theologically sound answers to the questions which bother all sincere Catholics. Clarifies confusion about schism, tradition, liturgy, the Magisterium and authority in the Church. A convincing argument why we should stand fast and hold to tradition. 204 pages, paperback. Available from The Fatima Shoppe, $9.95.

UPDATED: Catholic bishops say "interim report" asking Church to welcome homosexuals grossly misrepresented by pro-LGBT media

Much backing and filling at the Vatican Tuesday night over jubilant lamestream press reports that the Synod of Bishops now in progress (if such a word can be used) has recommended that the Church welcome homosexuals and all the "gifts and qualities" they can bring to Her. Before we get to the update, please read Walt's initial reaction, posted here earlier today.

Walt is struck dumb [He means "speechless". Ed.] by this weekend's news from the Vatican. In a preliminary report halfway through their Synod on family life, Catholic bishops in conference assembled are recommending "accepting and valuing" LGBT [He means "queer"... Well, that's what they call themselves! Ed.] faithful and all the "gifts and qualities" they can bring to the Church. I will resist the temptation to make any snide or sarcastic comments, reminding myself that the true teaching of Holy Mother Church is to hate the sin -- see St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, 1:24-29 -- but love the sinner.

Having said that, if homosexuality is to be regarded by the "new, improved Catholic Church" as something better than "disordered", and if homosexuals are to be made welcome in our communities, what about same-sex "marriages"? The bishops' report reaffirms the Church's teaching that marriage is for a man and woman only, but at the same time says the church must recognize the "positive" aspects of civil unions, with the aim of bringing Catholics who live together without benefit of clergy to a lifelong commitment in a church wedding. Would that be regardless of the gender of the partners? Walt awaits a clear answer.

While waiting, Walt remembers the words of Joseph Priestley -- no pun intended -- an English theologian, who said in 1761 that "in all controversies, it is better to await the decisions of time, which are slow and sure, than to take those of synods, which are often hasty and injudicious."

Footnote: Economists and marketers will tell you that the LGBT crowd is one of the most affluent "market segments" of North American society. Not having children -- well, most of them, anyway -- on whom to squander their incomes, they have oodles of money to splash around on nice clothes, entertainment, and so on. I'll leave the "so on" to your imagination. Of course the queers' affluence has nothing whatever to do with the bishops' willingness to embrace them.

And now the "correction", as reported in "Pushback on Synod document" on the Catholic Culture website. As their analysis is a bit lengthy for this space, I'll just copy the key paragrahs.

Controversy sharpened at the Synod of Bishops, as many prelates have complained that an interim report released on October 13 did not accurately represent the thoughts of the Synod fathers, and the Vatican press office hastened to announce that “a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature.

The relatio post disceptationem, which was intended to summarize the discussion during the first week of the October synod, "is a working document," the Vatican observed in an unusual statement released on the day after the document appeared. The press office emphasized that the relatio was designed not to be an authoritative statement, but to be the basis for discussion during the second week of Synod deliberations.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has been consistently outspoken in his defense of Church teaching regarding marriage, charged that the relatio did not accurately reflect the Synod discussions but "in fact, advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept." The American cardinal reported that "a great number of the Synod fathers found it objectionable."

Many prelates observed that the early release of the relatio had triggered an enormous volume of media coverage, much of it inaccurate, conveying the impression that the Church would change her teachings. (BBC provided a vivid example of this sort of analysis, announcing that Pope Francis had "scored a first quiet victory" in the document and saying that the Pontiff had "convinced many Catholic Church leaders to moderate their formerly strongly critical language about gay unions.")

"We’re now working from a position that’s virtually irredeemable," said South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, referring to the media coverage. "The message has gone out that this is what synod is saying, that this is what the Catholic Church is saying," he said. "Whatever we say hereafter will seem like we’re doing damage control."
[Indeed! Walt]

With a week still remaining before this session of the Synod concludes, it seems clear that critics of the relatio will organize a strong campaign to ensure that the Synod’s final document is very different from the interim report.

That was a close one, wasn't it... But if the bishops think they've dodged a rainbow-coloured bullet, Walt would advise them not to underestimate the power of the LGBT lobby, both in the lamestream media and within the Vatican itself!

Further reading:
"The Secret Synod Does What We Expected: Evil", by Christopher A. Ferrara, posted on Monday on The Remnant website.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers!

Let us ask ourselves why Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, a good six weeks ahead of the American holiday. Is it because the Canucks invented Thanksgiving? Or is it just that they have less to be thankful for?
Whatever the reason, Walt [and Ed! Ed.] would like to wish Poor Len and all those other delightful little frost-backed creatures a Happy Thanksgiving. Look to the south and count your blessings!

Hong Kong protesters: they're baaaack!

When we tuned in last week, Hong Kong's pro-Communist CEO, Leung Chun-ying (aka CY Leung) had refused to step down to appease the 1000s of students and others demonstrating for free and fair elections in the former British colony. The protesters then defied Mr. Leung's ultimatum to vacate the areas they were occupying. So, in order to get them to go home without losing too much face, Mr. Leung promised the student leaders a meeting with his flak-catcher, Carrie Lam, on Friday.

Most of the demonstrators -- credulous souls -- went home, leaving just a few hundred camped out on Gloucester and Harcourt Roads, blocking a key thoroughfare in Hong Kong Island's Central and Admiralty districts. But sure enough, on Thursday the duplicitous Leung called off the promised talks, saying the protesters' refusal to end their campaign had made "constructive dialogue" impossible.

He also said (again) that he would not resign. In an interview with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, he said the protests had "spun out of control" and did not rule out the use of force to end them. When asked about the protest camps, Mr Leung said, "We've resorted to all kinds of persuasions... We absolutely would not prefer clearing the venue, but if one day the venue has to be cleared, I believe the police will use their professional judgement and training using minimum amount of force."

So the pro-democracy protesters -- saddened but not surprised -- are back in the streets, in even greater numbers than before, paralysing parts of Hong Kong. In an open letter to China's Supreme Leader, Xi Jingping, a coalition of three protest groups proclaimed, "We cannot allow one person, Leung Chun-ying, to destroy the Hong Kong core values we so cherish."


Hong Kong's Chief Executive CY Leung has insisted China will not change its mind on the format for elections in 2017, despite weeks of protests.

In the Basic Law under which Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997, the Communists promised direct elections in 2017. But of course their idea of a free and fair election is one in which they choose which candidates are allowed to stand. Mr. Leung told TVB today that Beijing would not change its mind on the election format. "In achieving universal suffrage in 2017," he said, "if the prerequisite is to put down the Basic Law and the decision made by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, I believe we all know that the chance is almost zero."

The Basic Law (Hong Kong's mini-constitution) states that "the ultimate aim is the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures". It was the NPC Standing Committee's decision on the make-up of that nominating committee that sparked the protest movement, since that format effectively gives ultimate control not to the people but to the Beijing regime.

Further reading on WWW: "Why Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution' matters"

Comment from Ed.: Do you know when the Chinese have their best elections? Answer: just before bleakfast!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Anti-Christian "Viking" tour company thought to be a sham/scam

While I was doing the fact-checking for Wednesday's piece -- "'We're Vikings! We don't hire Christians!'" -- on the Christian girl whose application for work as a wilderness guide was rejected because of her faith, I became suspicious while searching on Amaruk's website for the location of the company's HQ.

Most of the webpages offer a choice of languages -- English, French and Inuktitut -- which might lead one to think the company is Canadian, yet CBC News, which broke the story, said it was Norwegian. And their supposed HR manager, the one who wrote the insulting e-mails to Bethany Paquette, called himself not just "Norse" but "a Viking". Other personnel named and pictured have Nordic, Viking-sounding names.

CBC News is digging deeper into the murk, and getting feedback from others who've had dealings with Amaruk, and the plot is thickening.

Turns out Bethany Paquette wasn't the only one to receive "bizarre and inappropriate responses" to their job applications. CBC News heard from one Lucie Clermont, who applied to Amaruk last year for a job as "executive assistant to the CEO", which promised world travel and a salary of $120,000 (currency unspecified). Not a bad gig, eh...if only it had been real. Clermont's application was met with a number of emails asking awkward questions -— some of them sexual —- followed by more that became insulting. Someone calling himself "Eric Teheiura, Vice-President South Pacific", wrote Ms Clermont that "We are very un-Canadian in the sense that we do not embrace mediocrity. We are not about to hire just anybody to assist a CEO, consular official, and member of one of Europe's wealthiest families."

Another woman, Sophie Waterman, applied for the same job, but soon believed it sounded too good to be true. She withdrew her application after a friend in the tourism industry warned her Amaruk might not be all that it seems. "When I cancelled the interview, I received about 15 emails in quick succession," she told CBC. "All pretending to be from different people involved with the company, and all very litigious, accusing me and my friend of slander. My feeling is that it's all one person."

CBC News has been trying without success to contact any of the directors or officers of Amaruk, without success. The co-CEOs of Amaruk are listed as Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen and Dwayne Kenwood-Bjørnsen. They're also supposed to run several other businesses, including Norealis, Spartic and Militis. And guess what Norealis is all about? It is listed as owning a male erotic website called MaleCorps.com. A visit to MaleCorps.com reveals all ye need to know.

The domain names of the websites for all the companies were registered in British Columbia by one Christopher Fragassi, who lists a post office box in the world-famous ski resort of Whistler BC as his address. So there's your Canadian connection. Only Fragassi is named on Amaruk's BC corporate registry filing, though Industry Canada's website lists 217 employees and 20 company directors. Calls to several listed numbers reached no one, just a hold signal that played the calls of loons. How appropriate.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NBA rookie fears getting attacked in Toronto because he's white

Walt got taken to task for suggesting, in "Atlanta Hawks owner shares his thoughts about black fans vs white fans" that professional basketball is a sport played by black men for black fans. OK, don't take my word for it. Check out the following article, picked up from The Sports Exchange today.

Sacramento Kings rookie Nik Stauskas, who said Sunday night that the Toronto Raptors were attacking him because he was white, is surprised at reaction to his comments.

The former Michigan shooting guard drafted eighth overall in the NBA draft said he was not looking for sympathy Sunday when he said: "I understand that I'm a rookie and I'm white, so people are going to attack me at all times. Just coming out there in the game, I felt it right away."

After another game with the Raptors on Tuesday, Stauskas tried to explain his perspective without backing away from the statement.

"I was very surprised," Stauskas said in an interview with a Kings' blog site, Cowbell Kingdom. "People kind of took it too far with what I was trying to say. I wasn't trying to get anyone to feel sorry for me. I wasn't trying to be controversial or anything like that. I was just trying to keep it real."

"As a rookie in the NBA, you're going to get attacked on the court, you see that tonight," Stauskas continued. "People make a point to go at me. It has a lot to do with reputation and kind of stereotypes of what your game is. For me, I look at my reputation, people look at me and obviously, I'm not the best defender in the world, so people are going to make a point to go at me and try to attack me as much as they can. That's really what I was trying to say."

Stauskas said his feelings were based on experiences on the court and he does not apologize for treading on sensitive ground.

"I've said stuff like that before and I don't take that back, because I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm not trying to be controversial, I'm just saying that's just really how I feel," he said. "Some people may have a problem with it, some people may not, but if you've ever played the game of basketball, you understand that there's certain stereotypes and certain reputations that certain players have and based on that, people are going to play a certain way against you."

Caritas International working with LGBT, abortion "rights" group

Thinking of giving money to the so-called Catholic charity Caritas International? If you're in favour of abortion, same-sex marriage, and the whole LGBT agenda, go right ahead. But if you think there's something outta whack about a "Catholic" charity helping to promote the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, read this.

Caritas International is not actually one charity, but a consortium of "Catholic" relief agencies. And now they've gotten into bed with the Brazil-based World Social Forum, an organization that stands for everything but the moral order to which we are called by our Christian Faith.

According to the American Life League's Investigative Report, World Social Forum supports and promotes legal abortion and homosexuality, and is heavily influenced by Marxism. In its report, ALL provides numerous examples of the group’s references to work for "reproductive rights" and "decriminalized abortion". The group’s literature also has shown support for the campaign to promote "gender identity and sexual diversity". Events sponsored by the World Social Forum have featured displays in which images of pregnant women hang on crosses, identified as "victims of fundamentalism" in a clear reference to Christian prohibitions on abortion.

Caritas International is not alone in supporting the World Social Forum’s events. Catholic Relief Services, the international relief agency supported by the United States Conference of "Catholic" Bishops, has also joined in its secular humanist initiatives. Shame on these so-called "Catholic" agencies. May a just God give them the reward they richly deserve.

St. Louis cop shoots unarmed (?) teen II

Walt is going to write this very carefully, so that his dear readers don't jump to any conclusions.

On Wednesday night, an off-duty St. Louis MO city policeman shot and killed a young male suspect. Here is how it all went down, according to St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins. He told reporters that the officer approached four men on the street to question them. Then, "as [the officer] he exited the car [I believe he means "got out". Ed.], the gentlemen took off running. He was able to follow one of them before he lost him and then found him again as the guy jumped out of some bushes across the street. The officer approached, they got into a struggle, they ended up into a gangway, at which time the young man pulled a weapon and shots were fired. The officer returned fire and unfortunately the young man was killed."

Teyonna Myers, 23, of Florissant MO, has a different version. She said the deceased, her cousin Vonderrick Myers Junior, 18, had only been carrying a sandwich. "He was unarmed," she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again."

Oops. Looks like Teyonna let the cat out of the bag. Walt was just testing to see how long it would take you to conclude that the hooter was white and the shootee black. And so they were.


The Post-Dispatch reported that dozens of protesters assembled shortly afterwards in the Grand and Shaw area of south St. Louis. That's only a few miles from Ferguson, which has been the scene of the customary protests -- looting and rioting, you might say -- nearly every night since the fatal shooting in August of Michael Brown, also 18 years old, also unarmed, and also an innocent boy who was getting his life together, yada yada yada.

Memo to Ed.: Save this copy for future use. I'm getting tired of writing the same story over and over again. Walt.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"We're Vikings! We don't hire Christians!"

Meet Bethany Paquette, a clean-cut, outdoorsy girl with a love for camping, river rafting and suchlike pursuits. She's also a self-proclaimed born-again Christian, and has a degree in biology from Trinity Western University, a Christian university in Langley BC. According to Amaruk Wilderness Corp., a packager of wilderness tours, being a Christian isn't the kind of thing they want to see on the résumé of someone who'd like to work for them.

Ms Paquette applied to work for Amaruk's Canadian operation guiding tours in the Great White North. She was shocked to receive an e-mail from Olaf Amundsen, the company's HR thingy, rejecting her on the grounds that she wasn't qualified and "unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want."

Apparently Mr. Amundsen had heard that all TWU students must agree to a covenant prohibiting sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, under pain of possible expulsion. That covenant has led to an ongoing controversy over the university's law school -- see footnote below -- since the busybodies in the human rights industry contend that TWU discriminates against the LGBT "community". So, according to the perverse "thinking" of progressive and fair-minded people like Mr. Amundsen, that makes it OK to discriminate against those old-fashioned and narrow-minded Christians.

We shall see. Ms Paquette has filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Oh the irony! She told CBC News that the series of e-mails she received from Mr. Amundsen "really hurt me.... I did feel really attacked on the basis that I'm a Christian. My beliefs have developed who I am as an individual, but they don't come into play when I am doing my job."

Apart from defending "the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want", Mr. Amundsen wrote, "The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life."

Ms. Paquette replied defending her faith, saying "your disagreement with Trinity Western University, simply because they do not support sex outside of marriage, can in fact be noted as discrimination of approximately 76 per cent of the world population!!! Wow, that's a lot of diverse people that you don't embrace."

And she signed her e-mail, "God Bless, probably partially because I knew it would irritate them." It clearly irritated Mr. Amundsen, who wrote back, describing himself as "a Viking with a Ph.D. in Norse culture. So propaganda is lost on me."

Footnote: If you think it's hard for a Christian to get hired as a river rafting guide, try getting called to the bar (admitted to the practice of law) in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Lawyers in those provinces -- many of whom are secular humanists and/or, errr, non-Christians, have been besieging their law societies with demands that graduates of Trinity Western's law school not be admitted to the profession, because, errr... well... they're religious! See articles listed on the CBC News Topics page for Trinity Western University and "Queer students campaign against Christian law school".

Monday, October 6, 2014

VIDEO: You can't trip up a real Canuck!

Poor Len here, celebrating the arrival (at last) of hockey season. Fans of the sport know that every game must start with the singing of the national anthem(s), which can be inspring, entertaining or just plain dreadful. Sometimes strange things happen. The sound system fails. The singer forgets the words -- especially Americans made to sing "O Canada" -- or the lights go out. It's an ideal situation for the observance of Murphy's law.

Murphy's law struck again this past weekend in beautiful Penticton BC, where Mark Donnelly, who usually graces the Vancouver Canucks home games, had been imported to do the honours prior to the Penticton Vees home opener against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. What makes Mr. Donnelly's performances memorable is (1) his booming voice and (2) the fact that he sings while skating around the rink.

On Friday night, Mr. Donnelly failed to notice that a strip of the ice surface was still covered by the red carpet on which local notables had come out for the opening ceremonies. So he tripped over it! But did the singer let the fall ruin his performance? No way, eh! He continued to sing the anthem while picking himself up off the ice. The crowd didn’t miss a beat, carrying on the song at his cue. Here's the video.



Sorry we couldn't show the whole thing... copyright problem perhaps... but you get the idea! Great stuff, Mark!

Book review: Duffy balloon goes up in spring

Nooo... Not that balloon of the infamously venal Senator from Kanata, former BFF of Canuck Prime Minister Steve Harper. That one was launched in July 2013 by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to protest the Puffster's (allegedly) fraudulent expense claims.

Did the porcine solon really defraud the Senate (thus Canadian taxpayers) when he billed them for per diem allowances while he was sunning his ample self on the beaches of Florida or for travel expenses for which he had already been paid by Conservative candidates during the 2011 election? These are just a couple of the allegations made by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust which will come to trial in the spring.

Last month "Old Duff" (as he likes to be known) had his first day in court on said charges, and waived the preliminary hearing which normally precedes a trial on indictable offences. That means the cases will go straight to trial, beginning on 7 April 2015. 41 days have been set aside for the hearing, in two parts: April 7th to May 12th, then June 1st through 19th. Apparently unwilling to take his chances with a jury, Mr. Duffy (as Steve now calls him) elected trial by judge alone.

The trial is a potentially huge embarrassment for Prime Minister Harpoon and his alleged government, starting a short six months before a federal election, scheduled under Canada's new American-style fixed-date election law for mid-October. The Puffster threatens to take the stand in his own defence -- "I am not a crook!" -- and promises to name names, possibly even calling Steve as a witness. And Nigel Wright, Harper's former chief of staff and the man who gave Duffy a cheque for >$90,000 to pay back his ill-gotten gains and STFU, will likely be the star witness for... wait for it... the Crown!

All this is explained in a new(ish) book, Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal, by journalist Dan Leger, who from time to time covered the same Parliament Hill beat as the Puffster. Mr. Leger recounts Duffy's unlikely rise to lamestream news media stardom. When he writes that Duffy liked to "suck up and kick down", he is quoting someone else. His account of Old Duff's appointment to the Senate and subsequent suspension is similarly fair and straightforward, including lots of self-serving quotes from Duffy himself, some of which were given in the course of an interview for the purposes of the book.

The only problem with Duffy, in Walt's opinion, is that it was published to soon. In the rush to be first onto the bookshelves, Mr. Leger and his publishers (Nimbus Publishing) have been forced to draw a line under the story, which ends following Duffy's suspension from the Senate (along with "former" Tory Senators Wallin and Brazeau) in October of 2013.

But the best part of the story is yet to come. Will the globular senator be not just suspended but dismissed? Will he be convicted of financial wrongdoing? Will the connection between Duffy and Wright prove to have been known to (and perhaps instigated) by Harper Himself?The denouement of the sordid affair is bound to be even more exciting [Politics exciting? Ed.] than the lead-up to it. Walt encourages Dan Leger to write a second edition as soon as the dust settles.

That is not to say that Canuck political junkies shouldn't buy or borrow Mr. Leger's book. It will be a useful backgrounder for the trial next spring. Ya can't tell the players without a programme, and Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal is a fine summary of what happened in the previous episodes.