Friday, December 31, 2010
The forces of all-party electoral ethno-politics have dogged all efforts to reform a system that, courtesy of Canada's charter of rights, has turned us into a willing doormat for all those bent on taking advantage of our reluctance to protect the integrity of our borders.
As long as Ottawa's political mind-set stubbornly opposes the notion of real reform of the Western world's most generous and porous refugee system, by hiding behind the universality of Canada's sacrosanct charter, we will indeed remain "the land of trusting fools," as put so aptly by a Russian security official.
Unique among such charters in Western democracies, by extending full civil rights to any and all non-residents once they set foot on our soil, the Canadian charter has opened a veritable Pandora's Box of refugee and immigration abuse and resulted in a virtual inability to effectively and expeditiously deal with undesirables freely flocking to our shores
The Supreme Court's 1985 "Singh Decision" forever changed the 1976 Immigration Act, making the Canadian charter universal by guaranteeing "everyone ... the right to life, liberty and security of the person."
It has resulted in endless litigation, negated the law and served as a major stumbling block to meaningful reform to ensure our refugee system is reserved for those afflicted by genuine persecution in other nations.
By enabling them to virtually guarantee their "clients" the protection of the charter, once delivered to Canadian soil, the Charter's unrestricted universality remains a veritable boon to a growing industry for human smugglers and continues to serve as a powerful magnet to all comers.
If you're a Canadian and you agree, you may send your comments to the Honourable Jason Kenney at Minister@cic.gc.ca. Watch your language please.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
The Holy Father used his traditional holiday speech, delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to tourists and pilgrims in the rain-soaked square, to encourage people living in the troubled areas around the world to take hope from the comforting message of Christmas. The trouble spots he referred to range from war-torn Afghanistan to the volatile Korean peninsula to the Holy Land — and also to China.
In recent weeks, tensions have flared anew between the Vatican and Beijing over the Chinese government's defiance of the Pope's authority to name bishops and its insistence that prelates loyal to Rome attend, against their will, a gathering to promote Communist China's schismatic and heretical "Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association".
This post has been adapted from the Associate Press report. To watch the AP video clips of the Holy Father celebrating Midnight Mass, click here.
The AP clip from the Pope's Christmas message is here. Note that the Holy Father is speaking in Italian, since he is addressing the people of Rome in his capacity as Bishop of Rome. The Telegraph has published the full text in English.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So says Father Rafic Greische, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, in an interview with Vatican Radio. He discussed recent difficulties faced by Egyptian Christians, including the imprisonment of Christians who protested the government’s refusal to permit the construction of a church.
“This is what the Muslim fundamentalists want," he said. "They want the Christians to evacuate from the Middle East and leave [the region to them]. And this is what is happening every day… and the governments do not take serious action to relieve or solve these problems."
Contrast that attitude with the tolerance and freedom of religion which our secular governments expect us to show to the Muslims -- including Islamic fundamentalists -- whom we have accepted into our countries. As Christians we are taught to turn the other cheek, but really...
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Wikipedia entry for The Red Green Show describes it as a cross between a sitcom and a sketch show. Walt says the only thing "cross" about it is Mrs. Walt's expression every time Red and the Possum Lodge gang come on the air.
Really the show is a series of monologues by Red (Steve Smith) or dialogues between Red and his nephew Harold (Pat McKenna) or other lodge members and friends, including such notable actors as Gordon Pinsent, Dave Thomas and -- as you'll see -- Graham Greene.
The writing, by Steve Smith, Rick Green (who appears but does not speak as Bill Smith) and others is brilliant, although some would say you have to be Canadian to get all the jokes. In keeping with the spirit of the season, Walt presents [geddit? ed.] a couple of Christmas segments.
The Red Green Show aired on various channels in Canada, with its ultimate home at CBC, and on PBS in the United States, from 1991 until the series finale in April 2006. It's in reruns on some comedy channels and PBS stations.
Yep, there's a website. PBS also has a Red Green page. "Keep your stick on the ice!"
Sunday, December 19, 2010
So begins an interesting article by the Globe and Mail 's music reporter, Robert Everett-Green. Click here to read it.
Reminds Walt of the story about an Israeli tour group who were being shown around the Vatican. They gazed in awe at the architectural and artistic masterpieces of St. Peter's -- all the marble, all the gold leaf. And, it being Christmas, they paused at a Nativity scene and listened to the explanation of the guide.
Said one little old man, "So this all happened in Israel?"
Replied the guide, "Yes, in Bethlehem. The very place where Jesus was born is in your country."
"And the baby's mother was Jewish?" asked the man.
"Yes, she was," said the guide.
"And the baby was Jewish? Circumcised and everything?"
Then the old man turned to his wife. "What I can't understand," he said, "is how we ever let the Italians get hold of this!"
Seems Caledon town councillor Gord McClure -- an eighth-generation local farmer known for his plain speaking -- used the term "Jewish lightning" in a debate about a historic home owned by former NHL star defenceman Paul Coffey.
Mr. McClure, a member of Caledon’s heritage committee, told a council meeting last week that he supports a proposed heritage designation for the home but not for the lot on which it sits.
Now comes the "slur". "If I owned the land I wouldn’t want the whole thing sterilized," McClure said. "We do that and it’s going to be hit by Jewish lightning."
Regional councillor Richard Paterak took McClure to be equating "Jewish lightning" with arson. Expressing his shock and sensitivity, Paterak said, "We should not make any comments that impugn any people or ethnic community and as a councillor [McClure] should know that."
Mr. McClure denied making a slur. "Paterak doesn't know what he's talking about," was the gist of McClure's remarks. He issued no public retraction and did not respond to phone and e-mail messages requesting comment.
Mr. Paterak's ethnicity and religion are unknown, at least to Agent 3 who says, "He must be an immigrant from Toronto."
It's sad to have to report the death of yet another Canadian soldier in Afghanistan. Steve Martin, a corporal in the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment -- the famous "Van Doos" -- was killed by an IED while on foot patrol in Kandahar early Saturday afternoon.
Cpl. Martin's death brings to 154 the number of Canadian troops killed needlessly in the Afghanistan quagmire. Monday would have been his 25th birthday.
Sad footnote: The QMI Agency, which feeds Canada's Sun newspapers, found a retired colonel -- from Cpl. Martin's own regiment, no less -- to say that Martin's death is a positive thing, because it shows that our lads are better trained than before.“That’s a good sign in the sense that there was a whole four month period without a loss,” said Col. Alain-Michel Pellerin, the executive director of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.
Further comment from Walt would be superfluous.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
"I'm 63 and I'm Tired" - By Robert A. Hall, a Vietnam veteran.
I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari’a law tells them to.
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America and Canada , while no American nor Canadian group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.
I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off?
I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.
Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my children and grandchildren.
There's a lot of this thing circulating on the Internet, so I thought I'd check it out with Snopes. They say it is correctly attributed. Robert A. Hall is a former Massachusetts state senator and USMC Vietnam veteran. He blogs as "The Old Jarhead", in which "I'm tired" appeared on 19 February 2009.
It seems as though in Austria, the popular yodel is an insult to Muslims.
An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.
Helmut's neighbours were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.
Helmut G. clarified that “It was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood.”
So now you know what to do if the Muslims start building a mosque in your neighbourhood. Crank your stereo (or whatever they call them nowadays) up to "mother" and put on those old Slim Whitman and Wilf Carter records!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Mr. Bain wrote for the old Toronto Telegram, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. In 1979, he became director of the School of Journalism at the University of King's College. He was a member of the News Hall of Fame, and in 2000 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for having "contributed greatly to the development of journalism in Canada". He died in 2006.
A dozen years before his death, George got sick and tired of the liberal bias of the mainstream media. (Sarah Palin had not yet coined the word "lamestream".) Fortified with a large class of vitriol, he wrote Gotcha! (Key-Porter Books, 1994), rightly described as "a thorough and damning analysis" of said media.
The book is well worth reading, a compendium of detailed and insightful analysis of examples of the media serving the public badly by yielding to leftward bias, political correctness, ingrained negativity and intellectual laziness.
Here is a sample which Walt thinks is particularly relevant to topics recently discussed in this space.
It is easy to imagine, posted on bulletin boards of [the major] news bureaus, lists headed Good and Bad. Political parties are Good anywhere left of centre, and need not be so in any discernible way, so long as they make the proper sounds.... Left is Good.... Unions in themselves are inherently Good; business is Bad.
Canadian peacekeepers are Good but the military (who are the same people but with guns) are Bad. People who shoot other people are Bad, but if they are caught and imprisoned they are Good, because prisons are Bad.
Immigrants are not Bad unless they take jobs from others who came earlier. However, if they entered the country as illegal refugees, they are automatically Good, because they wouldn't be refugees if they had not been persecuted, which is Bad, therefore they are Good.
How I wish I could write like that.
Also recommended: In addition to being a cynic, George Bain was a oenophile. He was also a humorist, and won the Stephen Leacock prize for Nursery Rhymes to Be Read Aloud by Young Parents with Old Children. My favourite, though, is Letters from Lilac, which describes lovingly the sort of small town in which I grew up.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Scene 2: a Toronto courtroom, yesterday; two gentlemen with Caribbean accents, members of two rival gangs, are acquitted of murder charges; white defence lawyers (paid for by Canadian taxpayers) proclaim the justice system works. Cop spokesthingy disagrees, says "We’ve worked extremely hard at improving relationships in the community and we’ve had tremendous success." Uh-huh.
Down at the Toronto Sun editors need a concerned member of the "black community" -- someone who's not afraid of getting shot -- to say something. Thus a phone call to top black female media ho Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo. See "The skinny on Kemi" for details of her checkered past.
Ms O-O, as self-appointed champion of the families of black murder victims, says the verdict sends "a horrible message" to gangs that they are "free to shoot up our streets and kill our children." With over four dozen gang- and drug-related black-on-black killings on the books already this year, seems to Walt the gangstas already knew that.
But, the Sun says, once Kemi calmed down, she invited the lads who got away with murder, Gregory Sappleton and Akiel Eubanks, to join her war on gun violence.
“If they really care at all about this boy, I want them to work with me, to talk to young people about what they’ve been through and how they feel about gangs,” she said. No word yet on when Messrs Sappleton and Eubanks will start appearing with Ms O-O at community self-criticism rallies.
Footnote: Agent 3 asks whatever happened to Jamaican-born Dudley Laws, civil rights activist and executive director of the Black Action Defence Committee. As far as we know, Mr. Laws has not been seen in public since Ms O-O arrived on the Toronto scene about 3 years ago. Is it possible that Kemi is Dudley in drag?
Monday, December 13, 2010
Mr. Carter is passing on a story in Inhabitat, a blog "devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future."
The Vatican, says Inhabitat, is doing its utmost to make itself "the greenest state in the world", which shouldn't be hard (Mr. Carter says) since the Vatican is the smallest state in the world. [Not San Marino? Ed.]
There are rumors that Vatican officials are researching a more environmentally friendly equivalent to the the Popemobile. They hope that an electric vehicle can be found to substitute for the iconic motor vehicle used by the Pope when visiting foreign states or making outdoor public appearances.
Perhaps, though, they should be thinking about a horse-drawn carriage. It seems the Vatican does have horses, although the point of keeping them is something of a mystery.
Being horses and eating oats or whatever, the Papal ponies produce a certain amount of equine flatulence. So, Inhabitat tells us, the Pope’s summer residence is being outfitted to harness the methane generated by the horse stables!
Now if they could only find a way to heat the buildings with some of the hot air generated by Cardinals Bertone, Kasper and others, they'd really be showing a commitment to reducing the Vatican's greenhouse gas emissions.
It wasn't the title that intrigued me so much as the subtitle: How mass media tries to pass off crap as news. This is something that bothers me virtually every time I watch a local or network newscast. I wish I had a stopwatch so I could note the amount of time spent on real, "hard" news (e.g. a suicide bomb attack in Sweden) as opposed to Charmaine-soft news (e.g. the suicide of a drug-raddled "celebrity" famous for being famous).
Drew Curtis defines "fark" as "what fills space when mass media runs out of news.... Fark is supposed to look like news, but it's not news". (He says that the origin of the word "fark" is not his attempt to find another euphemism for the Great Anglo-Saxon Monosyllable. Rather it just leapt into his mind one night when he'd been drinking.)
Writing in a jugular vein [jocular, surely! Ed.], the author analyzes and gives examples of eight media patterns which any news junkie will recognize.
- Media Fearmongering -- What would happen if some wildly improbable event occurred? Like the death of millions from "Mexican swine flu". Of course the event never happens and probably never will.
- Unpaid Placement Masquerading as Actual Article -- Not like product placement in a TV show or movie. Rather, running a press release promoting something (a book for instance), no more than a commercial in disguise. Sometimes these are labelled as "advertorials", sometimes not.
- Headline Contradicted by Article Text -- Since most people only read the headlines, especially on the Internet "news" sites, most people never notice.
- Equal Time for Nutjobs -- A great idea when the subject is debatable, like immigration reform, but ridiculous when there simply isn't another side, like whether the earth is round and when the Maple Laffs will win the Stanley Cup.
- The Out-of-Context Celebrity Comment -- The Dixie Chicks didn't like President Bush's foreign policy. So what?!
- Seasonal Articles -- People trampled in Black Friday shopping frenzy. Airports expected to be crowded at Thanksgiving. This is news?!
- Media Fatigue -- Especially in America, we get saturation coverage of an event (serious or trivial) for about a day, then the media and consumers of media get tired of it. After the initial feeding frenzy, the media have no new info to report, so they find another story.
- Lesser Media Space Fillers -- Mr. Curtis's examples are: missing white chicks, plane crashes, and amputations of random body parts.
It's Not News, It's Fark didn't make me laugh out loud. Actually I wanted to cry or throw up, maybe both. But if you want a clear statement of why you're not getting much solid stuff, as opposed to bland pap, in your newspaper or on the airwaves, you'll want to read this.
Oh, by the way... Drew Curtis is the creator of a "news" site, http://www.fark.com/. Don't say Walt is guilty of Sin No. 2. But if you're wondering where the screaming morning DJs get those little factoids of weird news, visit the Farking site!
Exactly who will be sent is something of a mystery. Her Jeanness, the former Governor-General, is already the UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti (her homeland), but seems to be fully occupied with her onerous duties in, errr, New York.
It's unusual for Walt to pick up a comment from a reader of another website, but the following, from "Moerbrugge", was appended to the G&M article, and says it all better than I can.
Well certainly all the help - and billions of taxpayers dollars - we have sent to Haiti in the past has made things better.
I rate Haiti just behind Afghanistan as Canada's foreign intervention triumph - Canada's has really made a difference. Both countries are enjoying a period of peace prosperity and good governance thanks to our efforts.
In particular the police forces and military of these two countries have benefited from Canadian training and expertise and are functioning at a high level of efficiency and probity.
You can almost feel the gratitude.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Off the air, thanks to the CBSC, is "Word TV", hosted by telepastor Charles McVety, which used to air on the self-styled Christian cable channel CTS. CSBC ruled that statements Rev. McVety made about homosexuals -- suggesting that perhaps they are less than perfectly normal and well-adjusted -- violated its broadcasting codes.
The CBSC said it had received complaints -- it didn't say from whom -- about how McVety's program portrayed issues "such as homosexuality, Islam, Haiti and euthanasia".
They charged that the program "had included discriminatory comments on the basis of sexual orientation, religion and mental disability". So CTS, faced with the prospect of losing its licence to print money, pulled "Word TV" off the air.
Said Rev. McVety, "They call me evil for expressing an opinion." In his opinion, "it is now a crime to speak against homosexuality." That seems to Walt not so much an opinion as a matter of fact.
Rev. McVety also referred to Toronto's Gay Pride Parade as advertising the city "as a sex tourism destination...with full opportunity for sex with hot boys." Gee, what would make him think that? Could the site of lovely young men (?) waving their, errr, hands from parade floats while clad only in posing pouches (or less) have informed Pastor McVety's comment?
Rev. McVety also blames gay rights groups for wanting to change Ontario's sex education curriculum. Conveniently ignoring the fact that the Ontario Minister of Education who promoted the new curriculum is a self-proclaimed lesbian, CBSC Chairthingy Ron Cohen said "To suggest that document is teaching kids to practice homosexuality? Absurd. Obviously absurd."
Mr. Cohen, who is not at risk of being made a Cardinal of the Church, seems to think that any opinion which he does not share is absurd. Rev. McVety disagrees. "We should not have Mr. Ron Cohen, a bureaucrat, tell me what my opinions can be and what my opinions can't be," McVety said.
A statement on the show's website referred to the CBSC as "thought police" that launched "a vicious attack against Word TV [even though] Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of speech, opinion, press and religion."
Apparently Rev. McVety hasn't learned that in Canada (as in China) freedom of speech, opinion, etc. only extends to those who agree with the secular liberal establishment.
So say a number of "pastors and other leaders of the black community", in an article in today's Toronto Sun.
Rev. Richard Adjei, of Church of Pentecost Canada, said in many cases the victims do not have fathers. “There is a lack of role models for these youths,” he said. “Every time a person is shot it leaves a victim and it becomes a cycle that has to be broken.”
Parent Nigel Moulton said the killings are being treated as black-on-black crime by members of the wider ["whiter", surely? Ed.] community in Toronto. “If we don’t do something as a community then we wouldn’t get the help of anyone else,” he said. “We have to stand up and do something about the black killings.”
No comment as yet from Kemi O-O. And no word on when Pastor Adjei or the others quoted will be hauled in front of the Human Rights Commission.
Friday, December 10, 2010
In today's Palm Beach Post you were quoted numerous times using "I am like".
This is what I would consider more dumbing down of our language.
This seems to be an affliction of today's youth but I cringe when I see it in print from an educated adult columnist.
If you could explain this trend, I would appreciate it.
Here, as it appeared in pbpulse, is Leslie Gray Streeter's article ["puff piece", surely? Ed.] "Syndicated advice columnist and author Amy Alkon wants you to mind your manners!"
And here's what Ms. Alkon said that provoked Agent 17 to write to her. "So there were these kids in there riding on a Razor scooter, and the workers weren’t saying anything, so I told them that they needed not to do that. And their mother scowled at me like 'How dare you parent my child.' And I was like, 'Well, you weren’t doing it.'"
I agree. I'm...like...so pissed when smart people...like...pepper their speech with these...like...y'know...
I'm tempted to blame the decline of our written and spoken language on American education, but British and Canadian speakers do it too. Yes, George W. Bush, an educated man, drops his g's when speaking from the stump. But Tony Blair (M.A., Oxon.) affects the dreadful glottal stop characteristic of the "Estuary English" spoken by the likes of David Beckham. And Mr. Blair commonly prefaces a sentence with "Hey, look...", just as Ms. Alkon starts with "So..."
This debasement of the language of Shakespeare must be deliberate. I believe it's an attempt by the speakers to bring their discourse down to the level of "the common people".
In other words, "dumbing down". Why? So those whose comprehension stops at the second syllable can "relate" to the speaker. Of course. As Prince Charles might say, "It really is...like...appalling."
Thursday, December 9, 2010
A spokesthingy for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DEFAIT -- check your French dictionary) says "We would have closed up sooner, maybe just after the earthquake, but we had Michaëlle Jean coming, so someone had to be there to clean the red carpet. You know how it is, eh."
In this case, the unpopular outgoing president, René Préval, was constitutionally barred from succeeding himself, let alone declaring himself president for life. (That had been done before.) But he had a hand-picked successor, Jude Célestin, who might have been a shoe-in but for little problems like the botched earthquake relief effort, an outbreak of cholera and the presence of UN troops (the ones who shat in the drinking water) who were there to ensure the voting could take place in circumstances of calm and fairness.
Candidates other than M. Célestin included former first lady Mirlande Manigat and popular carnival singer [??? rap artist, surely! Ed.] Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly. Former Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean somehow resisted pressure to run.
Not counting the 1000s of ballots found in gutters and garbage dumps, preliminary results of the voting had "Sweet Micky" second to Mme Manigat, with M. Célestin running a clsoe third. This presented a problem to the outgoing government, since the run-off election is supposed to be limited to the first- and second-place candidates only.
So guess what? A new result was announced. Célestin, it was said, had managed to pull ahead of Martelly at the last moment. Reaction of Micky's supporters was as swift as it was predictable.
Protesters set fire to the headquarters of Préval and Célestin's Unity party. Multiple fire trucks responded to the scene as flames licked the roof — an unusual scene in a country with few public services — but in late afternoon piles of charred campaign posters continued to smolder.
"We want Martelly. The whole world wants Martelly," said James Becimus, a 32-year-old protester. "Today we set fires, tomorrow we bring weapons." Other protesters said they would continue to mobilize but do so nonviolently.
For his part, "Sweet Micky" told his supporters yesterday afternoon to watch out for "infiltrators" who might try to incite violence. "Demonstrating without violence is the right of the people," he said. "I will be with you until the bald-head victory."
M. Préval, still president until the dust settles, had earlier urged the candidates to call off the protests. "This is not how the country is supposed to work," he said in a radio speech. "People are suffering because of all this damage."
Indeed. Haiti is not in Africa. It is, however, an African country which happens to find itself stranded on the other side of the Atlantic. All those involved in this farce are African, by which I mean black. Expect corruption, incompetence and chaos and you will not be disappointed.
How bad was it? So bad that the African Development Bank moved its headquarters from the old Ivorian capital, Abidjan, to Tunis, which is in the Arab part of Africa. (A previous president had decided to move the capital from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro because it was his home town.) TIA.
The Ivorian constitution allowed M. Gbagbo to succeed himself, provided of course that he was duly elected by the people. So an election was held and -- surprise, surprise -- M. Gbagbo was defeated. At least, someone else got more votes.
M. Gbagbo proved to be a sore loser, and refuses (the present tense is correct) to concede. BBC News Africa calls it "a classic case of an African incumbent refusing to stand down after losing an election".
As I write, I am listening to a report from Abidjan in which commentators are attempting to describe the confusion that arises from living in a country with two capitals and, now, two presidents.
Ivory Coast is in western Africa. All those involved in this farce are African, by which I mean black. But Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast are not the only countries to be subjected to misrule by corrupt and incompetent blacks. See next post.
In 2008, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe ever since its 1980 "liberation" from the evil colonialists, buckled under international pressure to have an election. A strong opposition party was allowed to contest the presidency and other positions.
Considering the levels of pre-election violence and intimidation, Comrade Bob was understandably surprised when early results showed him trailing the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, with a third candidate running a very poor third. So, quicker than you could say "Bob's your uncle", the counting was suspended and, errr, never finished.
A run-off presidential election was scheduled for some month's later, but Mr. Tsvangirai's party, whose numbers had already been reduced by government-sponsored terrorism, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and did not contest. International observers pronounced themselves less than satisfied, so Comrade Bob graciously gave "the teaboy" the position of Prime Minister in a "Government of National Unity".
There's an old Zimbabwean saying that no GNUs is good GNUs, and so it has proved. True to his word, Mugabe has never allowed Morgan to occupy State House, and continues to rule the country pretty much as he pleases. Now he is threatening -- threatening, mind you -- that if Tsvangirai doesn't stop obstructing him, there will be another election!
Zimbabwe is in southern Africa. All those involved in this farce are African, by which I mean black. But Zimbabwe is not the only country to be subjected to misrule by a corrupt and incompetent black dictatorship. See next post.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Darren Pang is a former goalie -- a good one too -- who now appears on TSN (Canada's answer to ESPN) as an analyst/panelist on the hockey telecasts.
P.K. Subban is a rookie defenceman with the Montréal Canadiens, a.k.a. "les Glorieux", the best team in the NHL's Northeast Division. Young Mr. Subban has a lot of talent and ability. Unfortunately, he is a hotdog and a loudmouth. Oh...he also happens to be black.
"P.K."'s controversial style came up in last night's between-periods panel discussion. Pang made a comparison between Subban and another young defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, who Pang believes does things on and off the ice "the right way." Unfortunately for "Panger", he didn't say "right". Listen carefully.
The forces of political correctness struck immediately. Walt imagines the switchboard at TSN lighting up like a Christmas tree. ["Holiday bush"? Ed.] So before the show concluded, time and space was found for Pang to grovel appropriately.
The ostensible purpose of the meeting is to elect a new president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), the schismatic puppet "church" set up by the Reds after the revolution of 1949. Understand the real meaning. The "president" of the CPCA is called (by the Communists) the head of the Catholic Church in China. That, of course, is the vilest heresy. There can only be one head of the Church, and that is the Vicar of Christ, His Holiness the Pope.
No Catholic, and especially no Catholic bishop, can give even the appearance of assent to the claim of the Communist appointee to be head of the Church, not even in his own country. It's on a par to Henry VIII's claim to have made himself head of the Church in England. St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher and many other martyrs met a cruel and horrible death for speaking the truth to Henry VIII's power -- the truth being that the English king had not the power to take the place of the pope.
To avoid having anything to do with the illegal and heretical election, some of the Chinese bishops have gone into hiding in order to avoid attending the meeting. Othere are attending -- some because they have been forcibly transported to Beijing, according to AsiaNews -- but will refuse to concelebrate with those state-appointed bishops who are not in communion with the Holy See.
Please continue to pray for the bishops, priests and lay people of China who face imprisonment, torture, even martyrdom, for their loyalty to the One True Church and the Chair of St. Peter.
However, the High Court at Lahore has now ordered the Pakistani government not to change the nation’s blasphemy law before the court hears the appeal, so it's still quite possible Ms Bibi may feel the sting of the executioner's sword.
Meanwhile, terrorist organizations associated with the Taliban have issued a fatwa against Shabhaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for religious minorities (sic), who is himself a Catholic. Mr. Bhatti is -- or was -- leading a commission that would have considered changes to the blasphemy law.
On Monday, ZENIT, a Catholic news service, ran an interview with another Pakistani Christian, Shaheryar Gill. Mr Gill is associate counsel to the American Center for Law and Justice. Here, Mr. Gill speaks of the effects of Pakistan's blasphemy law.
"20 years or more of the blasphemy law in Pakistan has instilled in people that punishment for insulting Islam is death. So, rather than going to the court, people have taken the law into their own hands.
"There was an attack on a village in Kasur by a Muslim mob where hundreds of Muslims attacked a Christian village of 135 families. The triggering event was a blasphemy charge. There was a dispute between a Christian and a Muslim.
"A Christian was driving his tractor and he saw a motorbike standing in the middle of the road. He asked the owner of the motorbike to please move so that he could pass. The owner said to the Christian with the tractor: 'How could a "Chuhra" [a derogatory term for a Christian] tell him what to do'? Over this they had a little fight. Some people intervened and stopped the fight and everybody went home.
"After a few hours a Muslim family gathered other people and attacked and beat the Christian family. The next day they announced in the mosque that a Christian desecrated the Quran. A mob gathered and attacked 135 families of that village just because of a petty fight between two people."
Let's be clear. We are talking about people who are being killed for no other reason than their belief in Christianity. They are dying for their Faith. The Church has a name for such people. It's MARTYRS.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This past Sunday, at the Angelus, the Holy Father prayed for the victims of the "continual attacks that are taking place in Iraq against Christians and Muslims." Then and previously he cited other "situations of violence, of intolerance, of suffering...in the world." But the insistent reference to Iraq seemed to express unusual concern.
The October 31 attack was deliberately planned for a time when hundreds would be hearing Mass. 58 Catholic faithful were butchered and scores wounded, in what can only be seen as a revelation of the true intention of the Islamist radicals.
The attackers were wearing explosive belts. They opened fire and threw grenades shouting, "You will all go to hell, but we to paradise. Allah is most great." The attack lasted five hours! In that time, the terrorists stopped killing twice to pray to Allah, and all the while recited the Qur'an as if in a mosque.
They devastated the altar, used the crucifix for target practice, and terrorized even small children simply because they were "infidels".
Here we see confirmed the widely-held Muslim belief that violence against "the infidel" is something intrinsic to Islam, not a distortion of it. This is the idea that was at the centre of the Pope's lecture in Regensburg, for which he was widely condemned as "racist" and "intolerant".
What the Holy Father was saying, though, is that this idea of "jihad against the infidels"and that pope Ratzinger maintains can be reversed only with a "revolution of enlightenment" on the part of Islam itself.
What are the chances of such enlightenment? Don't hold your breath while waiting. In Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq the killing of Christians just because they are Christians goes on, with western nations turning blind eyes and deaf ears.
Just two days ago, a married couple were attacked murdered in their own home. And the exodus of Christians from the Middle East continues.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
SOUTHLAKE -- Chase Bank told Texas businessman Antonio Morales to remove the Christmas tree he donated to a local branch because it could offend people.
The tree remained in the lobby from the Monday before Thanksgiving until Tuesday. Morales said the bank manager -- a personal friend -- called him Wednesday to tell him the tree had to go. She later showed him an e-mail from JPMorgan Chase saying that the tree had to be removed because some people were offended by it.
Greg Hassell, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman, said that the company's policy isn't anti-Christmas. "People wish their customers merry Christmas when it's appropriate," he said.
However, to ensure that everyone who visits Chase branches feels welcome and comfortable, the bank's policy is to use only decorations supplied by the company.
"We appreciate the thoughtful gesture from Mr. Morales," Hassell said. "Unfortunately, we're unable to keep it [the tree] on display for the remainder of the holiday season." JPMorgan Chase ensures that decorations are "something everyone is comfortable with, regardless of how they celebrate the season," Hassell said.
But others see the tree as a symbol of the season. A spokeswoman at Trinity Bank in Fort Worth said it has had a tree in its lobby since the Friday after Thanksgiving.
"I've been in this business more than 30 years, and every place I've worked we've put up a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving," said Linda Robertson, assistant vice president.
Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, called Chase's decision absurd.
"According to Advertising Age, 91 percent of American people celebrate Christmas," Fischer said. "That means that the single most inoffensive thing you can do at this time of year is wish someone a merry Christmas."
Fischer said that companies that have gotten away from acknowledging Christmas claim that they do it because they want to be inclusive.
"The most inclusive thing you can do is wish someone merry Christmas," he said. "This means that Chase is running the risk of offending far more people by disrespecting Christmas than they are by honoring it."
Agent 17's comment: This will frost your privates as it did mine. 91% of Americans celebrate Christmas and the minority dictates what we do!
Walt sez: Political correctness triumphs again! In the land of the free and home of the brave, minority "rights" trump majority opinion every time.
The Christmas season is upon us. I got the Christmas tree up last night. And I will be making a conscious effort this year to wish everyone I meet a Merry Christmas!
It's my way of saying that I am celebrating the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am asking you, dear readers, if you agree with me, to please do the same.
And if you'll pass this on to others, maybe we can prevent one more Canadian / American / British tradition from being drowned in the sea of political correctness.
Further thought... If you don't believe that people have forgotten what Christmas is really about, Google the images associated with the phrase "Merry Christmas". Sad is what it is.
You probably haven't seen or heard of either of those, even if you live north of the border. King was created by a Canadian Norman Lear wannabe. It tried to be sensitive and funny at the same time and succeeded at neither. As for Little Mosque, it starts with a ridiculous premise -- the title says it all -- and goes downhill from there.
It's not that Canadians have no sense of humour. There's a lot more good-natured irreverence in Canada than in the counterpart society to the south. Unlike their American cousins, Canadians know theirs is a nitwit country, and they're not afraid to laugh at themselves. Who do you think writes all those Canadian (and other) gags for The Simpsons and South Park?
Walt thinks the problem is that most Canadian sitcoms are commissioned by and for the deadly dull Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a public (i.e. government-owned) broadcaster so politically correct that it's impossible to poke fun at any identifiable group except maybe the Church.
Yet making fun of racial, ethnic and religious characteristics of one group or another is the essence of most of the jokes you'll hear around the water cooler or at the watering hole. Sketch comedy, fortunately, is another matter. Some would say that sketches are a lower art form, but in reality they require better writing and better, funnier ideas than sitcoms. There's a lot more to creating a funny TV sketch than dressing some actors up in funny clothes and makeup (e.g. Coneheads) and letting them do slapstick for a couple of minutes.
Canadians do sketch comedy superbly. And one of the best Canadian sketch comedy shows, SCTV, is back on the air. Incredibly, SCTV (Second City Television) was originally broadcast on the CBC from 1976 through 1984.
That network's insistence on political correctness led to the creation of the famous "Great White North" sketches, featuring Bob and Doug Mackenzie (Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis), which begat a movie, Strange Brew.
Even Americans found the Mackenzie Brothers hilarious. Thomas and Moranis said in an interview that they didn't think Americans realized the characters were Canadian, "only a couple of dumb guys". Here's a sample.
Check the cable and satellite listings for the comedy channels and you'll likely find SCTV somewhere. It's still funny, a quarter of a century later.
Postscript: These days the CBC would never allow the "Great White North" segment. God forbid that Canadians should ever say that theirs was a white society. That would imply that people of non-whitish hues don't belong. We couldn't have that...eh...
Friday, December 3, 2010
This is a secular viewpoint. And though the tone may appear a bit sensational, I think the basic points in the video are valid.
Walt agrees. We cannot be blind and deaf to the sickness we see and hear around us every day...especially on "happy holidays".
Click here to visit the Catholic Family News website.
Walt tries hard not to let two consecutive days go by without saying something about something. However, we are at the mercy of our Internet "Service" Provider. When they cut the wire, we are rendered mute. So it was on Wednesday and Thursday.
Walt knows that there is at least one sometime reader who was hoping he (Walt) would fall off the face of the earth. It hasn't happened yet!
This is more than passing strange, considering that immigration, bogus refugee claims, black crime, and the stubborn refusal of south Asians to adapt to Canadian society are the topics one overhears being discussed anywhere real Canucks gather. Anywhere outside of Starbucks and the drawing rooms of Rosedale, that is.
The Tory government of "Call me Steve" Harper, showing that it is only half-deaf to the wishes of ordinary Canadians, has introduced Bill C-49, which would curb human trafficking -- the smuggling into the country of illegal aliens.
The socialist NDP and leftish Bloc Québecois have announced that they will oppose the bill. So, in the current minority parliament, the bill's fate rests in the hands of the opposition Liberals.
The Liberals, led [after a fashion. Ed.] by Count Michael Ignatieff, hold a large number of seats in the Toronto and Vancouver areas, including some which are East Indian ghettos. The voters there are Sikh, Sikh, Sikh.
On the other hand, the Glibs are never going to return to their position as Canada's Natural Governing Party unless they can win back a goodly number of white bread ridings in TROC -- The Rest Of Canada outside the hotbeds of multicult. They are in danger of losing their grip even on Toronto's suburbs, as witness this week's by-election in the largely Italian-Canadian riding of Vaughan.
So if you're Count Iggula, what do you do? Pander to the racists or pander to the vizmins? Count on Mikey to make the wrong decision. Yep, he announced a couple of days ago -- apparently without consulting his caucus -- that his party will also oppose the government's bill.
Just another demonstration of how out of touch Iggy and the puppeteers who pull his strings are with the thoughts and feelings of the majority of Canadians.
That's not just Walt's opinion. Click here to read Michael Den Tandt's column in the Sun/QMI papers today. Here's the main point:
"Earth to Liberals: You are offside with most Canadians, including Liberal Canadians, on this issue.
"Ending the abuse of our immigration and refugee system is not contrary to the interests of immigrant communities, or of refugees. The opposite is true.
"If the abuse continues, as we have seen in Europe, the popular pressure against immigration will only grow."
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
But it's OK, quoth he, because the 1000 or so who get to stay will be on a "training mission". That's not the same as a "combat mission". So that's all right then.
Let Walt explain how training missions work.
What you do -- in the finest British military tradition -- is assemble a motley crew of natives and arm them with weapons. (Not the best weapons of course; maybe just some wooden dummies for practice.) Then you drill them, drill them some more, and drill them again. "One... twothree! One... twothree!"
When they have been completely drilled (as opposed to punched or bored) you lead them out into the field to test what they've learned. "A firing line, you idiots! Not a circle!"
While leading your pupils, you stand a pretty good chance of getting shot at. Six American soldiers learned this the hard way on Monday when an Afghan border police officer opened fire on them during a training mission in the east of the armpit ["country", surely. Ed.]
The shooting -- the highest toll for NATO forces since nine Americans died in a helicopter crash in September -- was the latest in a series of shootouts in which Afghan security forces have quite inexplicably turned on their NATO partners.
Walt wonders what makes Steve think the fate of Canadian trainers would be at all dissimilar. Should they pin on big "trainer" badges? Should they paint big red maple leaves on their backs so the Afghans will know they're not Americans? Would it make any difference?
Monday, November 29, 2010
I just worked for this 'charity' or whatever, and after about 3 hours into going door to door I was cold so asked if I could go home. Our supervisor said no, it's her choice when we go home not us or our parents. We said it was our choice when to go home not hers. When we started walking away after she refused to come pick us up, she came down the road and started yelling where do you think your going. Me and my 3 friends told her we were going home. She then said "Give me my money and my chocolate and you guys can find your own way home!"
She only gave our friends a dollar each for hours of work. She ripped them off; they should have made at least 10$. She started calling us very offensive names, that wernt appropriate for children and left us stranded in some place where we had no clue where we were, in the freezing cold weather.
We had NOOOO idea this was a scam, we simply answered an add that was posted on kijiji to make some money. After this event happened, we called the police and researched information about this 'fundraiser'. I only worked for her two times and realized that she was doing this for her own benefit!
Is the story true or is someone winding Walt up? Don't know, but I don't find it hard to believe.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Swiss voters have approved a plan to automatically deport foreigners found guilty of committing serious crimes or benefit fraud.
Swiss national broadcaster SF1 says 52.9 per cent of voters backed the proposal put forward by the nationalist Swiss People's Party, or SVP.
SF1 reports that 47.1 per cent voted against the plan.
The deportation proposal drew fire ahead of Sunday vote from legal experts who said it could breach offenders' human rights.
Anti-racism groups also bemoaned that the SVP's posters showing white sheep kicking black sheep off a Swiss flag played on stereotypical images of foreigners as criminals.
Come to think of it, I do have a quick comment: Why does the last paragraph not surprise me? Everyone must know that to suggest that non-white foreigners are responsible for much of the crime in our society is clearly racist!
Seems Ms. O-O has been working her way through the Toronto newspapers. Her moving tale was featured in the Toronto Sun in May 2009 and the Toronto Star in July 2009. Why it took the G&M more than a year to pick it up is a mystery.
Nicole Beaute, writing in the Star, puts it charitably: "Olunloyo herself has an unresolved past."
Turns out that although she has three sons, Ms. O-O has never been married. That puts her in pretty much the same boat as the many other grieving black mothers seen on the Toronto newscasts with depressing regularity.
Turns out, too, that there are outstanding charges against Ms. O-O in Georgia. There was also a charge of child cruetly in 2003 in connection with which her youngest son was taken away from her for three years.
And yes, Kemi Olukemi-Olunloyo has more than one other name [Alias, surely. Ed.] According to an assistant D.A. in Newton County, GA, Ms. O-O goes both Olukemi Olunloyo and Ashley Olukemi Olunloyo. In Toronto, she signs her news releases "Kemi" Omololu-Olunloyo. The name on her Ontario driver's licence is Olukemi Ajoke Olunloyo. In Atlanta, she sometimes used Kemi Lane.
Click here to read the rest of the Star's story on this fine spokesperson for the "black community".
Speaking in an interview with Canada's so-called national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo (hereafter "O-O" for short) expressed great concern about all the gun violence she's noticed in Toronto in recent months. Ms. O-O brought with her to the meeting a tombstone-sized piece of white board inscribed with the names of the 28 Torontonians shot dead this year. By her reckoning, all but three of them were black.
What Ms. O-O didn't say clearly is that nearly all of the perps, suspected or arrested, are also black. At least, though, she didn't explain black-on-black crime away with the usual rants about systemic discrimination and poverty. What she recommends is that "the community" -- which community was not specified but we can safely assume she means black folk -- "should co-operate willingly with police to hunt down the thugs who do the killing". Yeah, like that's going to happen!
But, she emphasizes, something must be done to save these children. She says it really slowly for emphasis: “These … are … people’s … children.” Ms. O-O should know, being the mother of three sons herself. The whereabouts of the father or fathers of these children is not mentioned in the article.
Nor does Kemi explain clearly how she came to be a "community activitist" in a country to which she came only three years ago, after three decades in the USA. Buried in the middle of the Globe's article is a reference to Ms. O-O having had a spot of bother with the authorities in Georgia. Apparently there are a couple of warrants outstanding for jumping bail and violating probation.
Perhaps she came to Canada as a refugee. Isn't it great that she has been able to find "work" -- paid for by whom? -- telling Toronto how to solve its social problems. Pity that she missed the one obvious solution.
Footnote: The article from yesterday's Globe and Mail is here.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Toronto is also the most multicultural city in Canada, according to the soon-to-be-abolished long form census and many other indicators.
Could the two facts be related? Surely we should be told.
Postscript: The happiest city in Canada is Sherbrooke, QC -- not a thousand miles from where Walt's sylvan hideaway.
Friday, November 26, 2010
A member of Ottawa-based 28 Field Ambulance, Capt. Paul died in February from natural causes while on leave. He was 53 years old.
In a statement, Canadian Forces General Walt Natynczyk said "Although his death came suddenly while on leave from his deployment in Afghanistan, he was still on duty and considered part of the mission, and therefore his death is no less important than any other CF member who served and died while in Afghanistan.... It is important that his name be added to the list of fallen."
What should not be forgotten is that Pakistan is officially a Muslim state. That was the whole point of its creation at the partition of British India in 1947.
The Muslims didn't want to live in the same country as Hindus and Christians. They wanted their own space. And so they got West Pakistan, now just "Pakistan", and East Pakistan, once East Bengal and now Bangladesh. Both countries are blessed with Islamic laws and typical south Asian politics, as a result of which they are typical third world basket cases. [Jute baskets in the case of Bangladesh. Ed.]
Islamic religion, Islamic culture, Islamic law. Yes. That's why one of the things you can't de in Pakistan is blaspheme the prophet. Nor can you suggest that any religion other than Islam has any validity. Asia Bibi found that out the hard way.
Ms. Bibi, a Punjabi, is a 45-year-old mother of five, who happens to be a Christian. While she was working at a local farm, the Muslim women with whom she was working called her an infidel and urged her to convert to Islam. Bibi refused, saying that Christianity was the only true religion.
According to the Pakistan Christian Post the Muslim men working in nearby fields also gathered and attacked Asia Bibi on which she fled to village in her home. The angry Muslims followed her and took her out of home and started beating and raping her.
They tortured her children also, while someone informed police. The police then arrested Bibi on blasphemy charges! Following a lengthy trial, she was sentenced to death. Whether the execution would be by stoning or beheading has not been reported.
Ms. Bibi's death sentence provoked an international outcry, at least in the Christian media. You may not have heard or read much in the lamestream media because of course we wouldn't want to offend our Muslim brothers by suggesting that they are intolerant.
Now Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for minorities, has found that Bibi was wrongfully convicted, and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has told CNN that the Pakistan president will pardon her. “I mean, he’s a liberal, modern-minded president, and he’s not going to see a poor woman like this targeted and executed,” said Taseer. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Or will it? Islamist leaders are reportedly planning protests throughout Pakistan if Bibi is pardoned. Attorneys in the district where Bibi is jailed are boycotting the courts to protest a possible pardon, and opponents of the release have gathered outside the jail. Islamic fundamentalist groups are threatening to kill her if she is freed, according to Fides news agency reports.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bhatti, who is also a Christian, said that Pakistan may amend its controversial anti-blasphemy law but will not repeal it, prompting the leader of the Pakistan Christian Congress to call for his resignation.
Click here to read a more detailed report from the Pakistan Christian Post.
That makes $445,000,000 in Canadian aid money which is supposed to be helping the most impoverished and disaster-stricken country in the western hemisphere. Is it?
No need to send your answer to Walt on the back of a postage stamp. Yesterday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a good exposé on where your aid money is going. Watch the video and you'll see a first-hand account -- just one of many -- of how some of your money is being paid directly to corrupt officials of the Haitian government. They're the ones getting fat off your generosity.
From other sources, Walt has learned that only about a third of the funds -- $146 million -- has actually been spent on disaster relief. And that includes the salaries and expenses of all the aid industry workers who are administering and delivering the relief services. Figures on the cost of that overhead are unavailable.
What of the nearly $300 million still in the bank? According to published reports, that's for "reconstruction", which of course can't begin until things settle down. That means having an election to throw out the rascals and bring in new rascals. (No, Wyclef Jean is not running. I'm talking about other rascals.)
It also means getting the cholera epidemic under control. Notice I didn't say eradicating cholera. Cholera is pandemic in Haiti as in many black countries where poverty goes hand in hand with insanitation and disease.
Where in all this, you might ask, is Michaëlle Jean, the Haitian-born woman of colour who spent too long as Canada's Governor-General? I'm happy to report that Her Jeanness landed with her brown bum in the butter. Shortly after being evicted from Rideau Hall she was appointed as UNESCO's "special representative to Haiti".
So she's in Haiti then? Errr, no. She's in New York at UNESCO HQ. But her staff says she's "fully engaged" with Haiti and will be going there "sometime in the future".
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We all know (because the lamestream media tells us) that gypsies -- oops, sorry, "Roma" -- are the most persecuted people in the world. Why only recently France has decided to expel 1000s of them. Something to do with dirt, crime and abuse of welfare systems, some say.
But that's France. In Canada, gypsies are welcome, as long as they know enough English or French to holler "refugee" or "réfugié" when they get off the boat. Or out of the first-class section of the airplane.
Take the cases of Joszef and Joszefne Nemeth, who came to Canada in 2001 from Hungary, and Tiberiu Gavrila, who arrived in 2004 from Romania. [Does that mean "land of the Roma"? Must check. Ed.]
It's worth noting that by the time these "refugees" had arrived, they couldn't claim to be fleeing the godless Communists, because the Communist dictatorships of both countries had fallen in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union. So they said they were at risk of persecution because they were Roma. And of course the Canadians bought it. To deny their refugee claim would have made the Canadian government seem racist, eh.
Somewhat later, the Hungarian government sought extradition of Mr. and Mrs. Nemeth to face a charge of fraud. At about the same time, Romanian asked that Mr. Gavrila be sent back to serve time on a conviction for, errr, fraud.
Agent 3, who studied the subject, tells me that the general principle of international law is that refugees cannot be sent back to countries where they were persecuted. But there are exceptions, one such being cases of serious, non-political crime. Like, errr, fraud.
The Québec Superior Court thought both cases fell within the exception, and authorized the extradition of all three "refugees". The Canadian Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson, ordered the removals, saying the people involved had not shown they were at risk of persecution if they were sent back.
But the Nemeths and Mr. Gavrila appealed, assisted no doubt by lawyers paid for by Canadian taxpayers. Their cases were heard together at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Their grounds for appeal were that they couldn't be extradited unless their refugee status was formally revoked, which it wasn't.
The Supreme Court quashed the extraditions. Why? Because the Minister of Justice hadn't followed the right procedure and applied the correct test. The onus wasn't on the refugees to show that they were at risk, the court said. Rather the onus is on the government to show that they are not.
The court accepted that Minister Nicholson looked at the situation in Hungary and Romania at the time the extradition was sought. Both countries have joined the European Union and come under its human rights rules and conventions. So the minister thought there was little chance of persecution.
Speaking for the court, Mr. Justice Cromwell wrote “Change of circumstances in a refugee's country of origin may lead to cessation of refugee protection. In short, protection ceases to apply to persons who, by virtue of a change in circumstances, no longer need it.”
But, he added, the minister must be satisfied that the threat of persecution no longer exists. One wonders what the minister should have done to satisfy himself. Should he have dressed up like a gypsy and gone to Hungary and Romania to see what would happen to him? Should he have taken into account the pro-gypsy propaganda fed to Canadians through the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star?
Whatever it was Nicholson did, he didn't do enough of it or he didn't do it well enough. The cases of all three "refugees" now go back to him so that he can review his decision.
And what if Mr. Nicholson looks at the files again and stands by his original decision? Well, his decision can still be appealed...again...courtesy of the Trudeau Charter of Rights and the Canadian taxpayer.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Dan Froomkin has read George W. Bush's just-released memoir, which puts Dan several steps ahead of Walt. From it, he has selected what he consider the two most egregious lies.
The article is called "The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush's Memoir". Agent 17 says, "See how far you can read before having an urge to vomit."
I got as far as the phrase "coercive democracy" before having to run to the washroom. Will post this now and finish the rest sometime later, after I've over-indulged. File it under "suspicions confirmed".
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I refer to the revolution in women's underwear. To this observer, the state of the art now is infinitely preferable to what it was 50 years ago. Those who wear the more natural undergarments of today must be much more comfortable than their mothers and grandmothers were back in the straight-laced 50s.
Let us be thankful, then, for the demise of Dagmars and the Frederick's of Hollywood bustline. Let us celebrate the falling from favour of pantyhose, which were singlehandedly [Is that the right word? Ed.] responsible for the alarming decline in the western birthrate.
Let joy -- and Anne and Yvonne and Maureen -- be unconfined.
It must have been about 50 years ago, the date when everything turned to shit. TV, health care, fast food, cars, politics, air travel... it's all shit! Compare the state of any of those things 50 years ago with that of the present day, and you can't help but think that the good old days really were better.
It's not just a case of looking backward through rose-coloured glasses. It's true.
Yesterday I got to think that we should be able to pinpoint a precise date when the rot set in. It's important that we do so in order to celebrate properly the 50th anniversary of the Reverse Midas Touch. Exactly when did everything start to go pear-shaped?
I nominate November 8, 1960 -- the day John F. Kennedy was elected. Those who said the world would never be the same again were right. Unfortunately, they were wrong in predicting the direction of change. Instead of marching bravely into a new Camelot, we took the first step down the long and slippery slope into the Inferno.
Readers are invited to name their own Day the World Changed Forever. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Like feminism, it's something we must take very seriously. In fact, there's a strong feminist ethic amongst those promoting more toilets for the women of the world -- not just the Third World but the First World too.
The long queues at the dwindling number of public toilets for women demands action. So said a British woman (naturally), a specialist in "inclusive engineering" -- a discipline which Walt didn't know existed. They believe that to achieve reduction in wait times, with attendant social and even medical consequences, new buildings and public spaces should have two to three times as many toilets for women as for men. Reverse discrimination? Maybe not a bad idea though.
On the same programme, Walt heard an American campaigner -- a man -- call for "potty parity". Being American, the group he represents has a number of lawsuits going, to force the installation of more toilets for women. But this gentleman had another suggestion -- more unisex washrooms. This has the added bonus of being fair to the "transgendered", especially those who are "going through the change".
Yesterday the WTO promoted "the Big Squat". The WTO website says "To help raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people who don't have access to sanitation, thousands of people are going to squat for one minute." I guess I missed it, but then I wasn't in town. There are advantages to living in the country!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Word has reached us today that the Chinese government plans to call a meeting of the "National Assembly of Catholic Representatives" before the end of this year. This puts still more pressure on the underground Church to recognize the authority of that government-backed body instead of the Holy See.
The National Assembly claims to be a "sovereign body" ruling the Catholic Church in China. It is controlled by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association -- the schismatic puppet "church" set up by the Communists. Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter to the Chinese Church, said that such institutions are incompatible with the Catholic faith, and urged loyal Catholics not to participate in their affairs or recognize their authority.
Chinese bishops have expressed concern that if they fail to participate in the National Assembly meeting, their congregations will suffer reprisals. The meeting will certainly exacerbate divisions between Catholics who cooperate with the "official" CPCA and those in the underground Church who remain staunchly loyal to Rome.
Read the AsiaNews report here.
Meanwhile, bishops in the central Chinese province of Hebei province are under heavy pressure to participate in the consecration of a new bishop who has not been recognized by the Vatican.
Priests in Hebei reported that two bishops -- Peter Fen Xinmao of Jingxian and Joseph Li Liangui of Xianxian -- have been taken to an undisclosed location by local government officials. The priests fear that the bishops are being subjected to pressure to join in the November 20th ordination of Father Joseph Guo Jincai, who is a leading official in the CPCA. The Vatican has not approved the ordination.
Click here for a more detailed report from Ucanews.
Let me give you just the beginning and end of her opinion on the wisdom of keeping Canadian troops in Afghanistan on the "training mission" announced on Remembrance Day by President Harper. [President??!! Ed.]
What explains Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s sudden change of heart on Afghanistan? One day he’s vowing to shut the door and turn out the lights on the Canadian mission by next July, the next he’s channelling Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Now he tells us that 950 Canadian soldiers will stay on as trainers, “to honour the sacrifice we’ve made and consolidate those gains.”
Sweet. But that’s not why we’re staying on. We’re staying on because U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and our friends at NATO put the arm on him, and when those folks get that insistent, it’s awfully hard to refuse.
... ... ...
I sympathize with people who say it would be “shameful” for us to cut and run now. But I also think someone should explain how any of our training efforts could possibly make a difference. Ultimately, the success of the Afghan forces depends on the support of the Afghan people.
And that brings us to the worst problem of all – the deeply corrupt and deeply reviled Karzai government itself. The way a lot of Afghans see it, we’ll simply be helping to prop up another bad regime. And they won’t be wrong.
Worth noting is Ms. Wente's take on the real reason for the Harper flip-flop. Harper caved. End of story.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
You would think that, with public opinion running roughly 2 to 1 against staying in the cesspit that is Afghanistan, Mr. Harpoon might be having second thoughts about the wisdom of caving in to the American demands. Trouble is, having flip-flopped so publicly, and having been caught in a monstrous lie, it's not so easy to do it again.
To the rescue comes Norman Spector, Globe and Mail columnist and at one time a top bureaucrat and political advisor to the not-soon-enough-ex Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In today's column, Spector advises Mr. Baloney's successor to let Parliament vote on the issue, rather than pretend it's an executive decision that he (Harper) can take on his own.
The way Spector sees it, Harper can't lose by letting Parliament decide. If they vote "yes", it relieves him of responsibility for the further loss of life and treasure. If they vote "no", Harper can go to his masters in the White House and the Pentagon and say, "Gee, sorry, but I couldn't get it past those stupid elected representatives."
It's a brilliant strategy, with the bonus of being seen to be clearly democratic. Even Obama has to have the advice and consent of the Senate before waging war. Why should the Prime Minister of Canada be any different?
I read a couple of Korda's books when I was studying and teaching negotiating skills and approaches to getting and using power. In Hero: the Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, Mr. Korda has analysed the techniques used by Lawrence as he led the Arab insurgency against the Turkish Empire in World War I. The methods pioneered by Lawrence -- including IEDs -- could, he suggests, be used today against Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the warlords of Afghanistan.
The article to which Agent 17 referred me appears on The Daily Beast website today. Here are a couple of paragraphs.
Lawrence also took the trouble to think about how to defeat an insurgency as well as waging a successful one himself. He advised strongly against bombing insurgent villages (drones did not yet exist, but he imagined them), since that would inevitably involve killing innocent women and children, and would make revenge for their death a duty for every surviving family member, as well as for their clan and tribe. He recommended dropping leaflets warning the villagers that something of value and importance to them would be bombed and allowing them time enough to remove their families and flocks before doing so.
He also took the view, as he had in the Arab Revolt, that it was easier and cheaper to buy the tribes off than to fight them: gold was as important weapon to him as explosives. He was in favor of the use of fast armored cars operating far behind the enemy lines, and supplied by aircraft, roving at will and attacking by surprise.
Lying on his cot in a barracks at an RAF station in what is now Pakistan, Lawrence wrote to his old friend Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, the Chief of the Air Staff (this was the equivalent of a private writing to a four-star general and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), of a troublesome insurgent leader in Iraq (Sunni insurgency against a Western occupier in Iraq is not a new phenomenon): “The fellow you need to influence is Feisal el Dueish... If I were at Ur, my instinct would be to walk without notice into his headquarters. He’s not likely to kill an unarmed, solitary man. . . Such performances require a manner to carry them off. I’ve done it four times, or is it five? A windy business. . .”
Note that the suggestion of fearlessly walking unarmed into the headquarters of an insurgent leader implies an understanding of the Muslim tradition and obligation of hospitality toward a guest, even an enemy guest, and also a willingness to listen to the other person’s grievances, an important point.
Bombing people will seldom change their mind, and certainly not about their own government, whether done by the Turks against the Arabs in 1918, or by the British against the Iraqis in the 1920s, or with drones in Afghanistan today.
Where are the T.E. Lawrences of yesteryear when we need them today? Leadership isn't much good without vision and imagination. I don't see a whole lot of that on display in Washington, Ottawa or London. So, since no-one seems to have a better plan, why don't we chip in and send a copy of Korda's book to Messrs. Cameron, Harper and Obama, and let them learn from Lawrence.
Monday, November 15, 2010
First the timeline. Following 9/11, the Americans -- more accurately, the Bushmen -- decided to take revenge on Al Qaeda by attacking them in their homeland, which they thought was Afghanistan. Once again the profound American ignorance of geography and geopolitics came into play, as it turned out there were no Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, only the Taliban.
No Afghani ever attacked the USA. The perps of the 9/11 horror came from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. But no matter. Afghanistan was in the neighbourhood so...send in the Marines! Unfortunately, even though the UN refused to support the American mission, NATO went along with it, so NATO member countries were asked to participate in the "coalition of the willing".
About this time, the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien felt maybe Canada kind of owed the US one, having bailed out on the invasion of Iraq, so M. Crouton said OK, we'll send some of our guys for a couple of years, maybe until 2003 or 2005.
Well, 2003 came and went. So did 2005. The sound of wheels spinning and a mission going nowhere was loud in the land. So the mission got extended to 2007, then to 2009. By 2008 the mission was not just going nowhere, it was going in reverse.
By this time "Call me Steve" Harper was in charge, but, having only a minority government, didn't want to have to carry the can for a dubious decision to prolong the ill-advised and ill-fated war any further. So he did what Canadian governments always do, and appointed a commission.
Setting up a commission or an enquiry is a lot like hiring a consultant: you usually get the answer you want. Sure enough, the advice of John "The Man from Glad" Manley -- who conveniently had been a member of the Chrétien government -- was to give it another two years, max.
Harper brought the unManley report before the House of Commons, saying that Parliament must decide. In reality this was a clever ploy to make the Liberals take the blame. Not only had they committed Canada to the mission in the first place, but were going through a vicious internecine fight of their own, so they were hardly in a position to vote "no" and throw the country into yet another election.
Besides, Harper assured everyone, this is the ABF, the Absolutely Bloody Final extension. All the troops would come home in 2011, for sure, except maybe for a handful required to guard the Canadian embassy in Kabul. Really. Scout's Honour.
And so it came to pass...another two years in hell.
Now, with no exit strategy or plans in sight, nor any end to the war, Mr. Harpoon has had a sudden epiphany. It was wrong to promise to withdraw in 2011! We might be needed -- one wonders by whom -- for a little while longer.
On Remembrance Day, the day when we honour our fallen soldiers, Harper announced that, yes, Canada would leave some troops in Afghanistan after all. Say 1000 or so and this time for not two, but three years. On Remembrance Day! The cynicism and hypocrisy boggles the mind! 152 have died so for their sake some more will have to die.
But noooooo... Harper says Canadians will be there only in a training role, not a combat role. They will help the Afghan National Army and the corrupt and discredited Afghan National Police to develop their capacity to bring peace and order to their ravaged country. It will be "strictly inside the wire", in the peaceful and safe confines of Kabul, where explosions are less frequent than in Kandahar. Yeah, right.
Walt is old enough to remember Vietnam. For those who don't, let it be recalled that the Americans first went to Vietnam as advisors, to help the ARVN develop its capacity to defeat the dreaded Vietminh and bring peace and order etc. etc.
Tens of thousands of lives later, the Americans discovered that you can't very well train people to wage war without going into battle with them. What would make a training role in Afghanistan any different?
The fact is that if you are wearing a uniform -- any uniform -- you're fair game for the Taliban. Trainers or combat troops, it makes no difference. They all have targets painted on their backs.
Hell, the Taliban don't even see our soldiers. They just plant IEDs on the roads in the dead of night, then hide behind the nearest hill and wait for the big bang. Any "foren" venturing outside the camp is fair game, trainer or not.
This would be a great point to raise in a debate in Parliament, if there were going to be a debate in Parliament. But there won't be any such debate. Harper calmly announced, with a straight face, that since our troops will be teachers, not fighters, the decision to leave them there is an executive decision, which he, acting alone -- for it appears all this took his Defence Minister by surprise -- is entitled to make. Just like the president of the USA.
So much for the Canadian constitutional monarchy. So much for the supremacy of parliament. And so much for the lives of scores or possibly hundreds of Canadian men and women who will die in the dust on the other side of the world...for nothing.