Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shock and awe in D.C., and other effects of parity

In the new NHL, where you can't ice the best team money can buy, the differences between the top teams and the middle-ranking teams aren't as great as the standings suggest. That's the lesson Walt has learned from the first round of playoffs, which saw a number of surprises and, last night, a sensational shock!

First, let's see how Walt fared with his fearless predictions.

Western Conference
Walt called Sharks in 6. Right on the money!
Nashville in 7? Dead wrong. The Cinderella story is over. Chicago wins in 6.

Walt predicted Vancouver in 7. In fact it took them just 6 to dispose of the hockey players who would be Kings.
However, it took Detroit 7 games to dispose of the pesky Coyotes, the suprise of the West.
Walt's record: .750.

Eastern Conference
Walt correctly predicted the Flyers-Devils matchup would be over in 5 games. Picked the wrong team though.
Same for Boston and Buffalo. Apparently there's no O in Buffalo and Sabres goalie Ryan Miller couldn't stop pucks and score at the same time.
It took the Penguins one more game than predicted to finish off Ottawa, the perennial first-round drop-outs. Good hockey though. Give Walt a W on this one.

And now for the sensational shock! Walt, thinking with his head rather than his heart, didn't give the Montréal Canadiens a chance of winning even one game against first-seeded Washington. In fact they showed extraordinary guts and exceptional goaltending in coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series last night. Les Canadiens sont là! To quote Damien Cox in today's Toronto Star, hail the conquering heroes! [Did he make that up? ed.]
Walt's record: .250.

Total for the first round: 1.000. Lifetime average: .983.
What??? Hey, figures don't lie! .750 + .250 = 1.000. You can look it up!

Footnote: CBC-TV took a pass on the Montréal-Washington series, electing instead to show Buffalo vs Bruins. What dummy made that decision? What did I tell you about the CBC being dominated by the Toronto crowd? "It's a Canadian thing!"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Focus on "family planning" in Africa "insane", says African journalist

Following up my earlier post, I commend to you an article by Gaston Asitaki, an African journalist based in Kinshasa, in the so-called Democractic Republic of Congo. (This is one of the countries Her Jeanness, the Governor-General and First Lady of Canada, visited on her farewell tour earlier this month.)

Mr. Asitaki says that the intense focus of US foreign aid on expanding family-planning programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo is "certifiably insane." The urgent need for the country's impoverished people is an adequate supply of ordinary medicine. Antibiotics, he says, save lives...not condoms.

Click here to read "We need penicillin, not condoms, in central Africa".

Eugenics redux?

Canada's Conservative government has announced, ahead of June's G8 summit, that although the theme of the meeting is "improving maternal health", it will not fund abortion on demand in third world countries. For this it is being pilloried by the usual gang of liberals, progressives, wimmin's rights nutters and advocates of baby-killing -- the same people who applauded when Henry Morgentaler was made a member of the Order of Canada.

Steve Harper says that there are better ways to spend taxpayers' money on helping third world women -- ways which will not cause division amongst Canadians. He is right (for once) and those who accuse him of trying to reopen the abortion debate are wrong.

Walt wonders if the loony lefties who think the developed countries should be handing out condoms and paying for D&C's in Africa have heard of eugenics.

Popular in North America and the U.K. during the first half of the 20th century, eugenics is the study and practice of selective breeding applied to humans, with the aim of improving the species. The idea is that you will gradually get rid of the inferior specimens by keeping them from breeding. Has no-one made the connection between this theory and the agitation for more birth control and more abortions in the third world?!

Eugenics had many proponents until it became associated with Nazism in the 1930s. Among them was Canada's own Nellie McClung, who has been honoured for her tireless campaigning for the vote and other rights for women. But now Forces for Good in Winnipeg are fighting to prevent the erection of a statue of Nellie because -- horrors! -- she thought it would be better if the inferior races didn't have so many babies.

This view was shared by historian H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, and even abortion advocate Margaret Sanger. They all thought that the poor and uneducated, those with mental problems, low intelligence or loose morals should be discouraged or even forcibly prevented from breeding.

Like many others of his day, Wells argued, in his book Anticipations, that it was only natural that the white races should dominate the others. It followed from Darwin's theory of natural selection that northern Europeans were better able, physically and intellectually, to develop and rule a better world. Asians came next (in descending order of yellowness or brownness) followed by Amerindians, with black Africans at the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak.

Australian doctor and sexologist Norman Haire, inventor of birth control devices, went farther. He advocated the killing of inferior babies and the sterilization of the unfit so society's resources could be focused on preserving higher-quality people.

Even now, inferior babies -- that is girl babies -- are routinely killed or abandoned to die in China, India and Africa. (In the Indian communities of North America they are simply aborted.)
See "Gendercide" in The Economist of 4 March 2010, for details of how at least 100 million girls have simply disappeared due to abortion, infanticide or neglect.

The net result of the birth control and abortion programmes that the libbers and lefties demand we fund in the third world will be a reduction in the number of non-white babies. So...would Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, the women in sensible shoes and all the others who accuse the Tories of sexism, racism, and so on please explain the difference between their "maternal health" agenda and eugenics?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A palindromic message worth listening to twice

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. This video is the palindrome of all time. Not only does it read/sound the exact opposite backwards as forward, but the meaning is the exact opposite too.

"Lost Generation" was submitted in the AARP's U @ 50 contest. When they showed it, everyone in the room broke into spontaneous applause. To watch it takes takes only 1 minute and 44 seconds, backward and forward. Make sure you read as well as listen.

Thanks to Agent 19 for sharing this.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lesbian cabinet minister pushed queer sex ed plan

I hadn't intended to write another post on the Ontario Liberal government's about-face on its new sex education curriculum -- the one that proposed to start teaching pre-teens that homosexuality is "normal". As I said yesterday, the people have spoken and for once the powers that be listened.

However... Rosie DiManno has a very incisive and insightful piece in today's Toronto Star which is worth considering. It seems to me she gets right to the heart of the problem that the straight majority have with the LGBT* agenda which was being crammed down their ... err ... throats.

Thanks also to Rosie for supplying a bit of evidence to back up my assertion that this disgusting dogma of immoral sexual licence was being foisted on the people of Ontario by a large and vocal gay lobby.

The education minister on whose watch this witches' brew of immoral behaviour was stirred up was Kathleen Wynne. What I didn't know until today was Ontario's first openly lesbian cabinet minister. No wonder "she called the Tories 'despicable' for opposing the plan." Ms DiManno reports she shouted across the benches "You’re aligning yourselves with homophobes!"

Ms DiManno continues: "Homophobia — while a handy accusation to toss around — is emphatically not why so many parents revolted when delivered this fait accompli, now quickly withdrawn.... It’s the age of the thing that elicited gasps of disapproval, and the spoon-fed doses of sexual enlightenment as prescribed by alleged education experts that rankles.

"Nearly every buttonholing interview of parents conducted by the media over the last three days turned up deep reservations about introducing 6-year-olds to sex.... These youngsters are still learning their ABCs.... Then, a mere two years later, we’d have those children instructed on 'healthy relationships' and sexual orientation, subjects so complex that many adults would receive failing grades.

"It was demanding a great deal for parents to accept invasive sex instruction in the schools at complete variance with ethics taught at home. While many of us may disagree with some of those moral paradigms, we can’t compel others to change their personal views, or meekly hand us their very young children so that we can shape theirs."

Just so. Good column, Rosie.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Afghanistan: the reality of the enemy

Thanks to Agent 17 for passing along this link to a speech given by Lt. Col. Allen West (US Army, Ret.) to the Center for Security Policy's National Security Group on Capital Hill. Col. West was a senior advisor, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command. He is running for Congress in South Florida.

Col. West says we are in a war against "an Islamic totalitarian enemy" we do not understand and refuse to focus on. They understand us, he says, better than we understand them. Instead of using all the weapons and elements at our disposal, he argues, we're trying to engage in a "fair fight", and that's one we cannot win.

Follow-up: RCMP investigates threats against Indo-Canadian MP

Earlier this week, in a post headed "Sikh, Sikh, Sikh", I shared with you quotes by Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh on the subject of Sikh extremism and terrorism. Predictably, Mr. Dosanjh has now been threatened with death by anonymous posters on Facebook. Here is the Canadian Press report, as published in today's Toronto Star.

Members of the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team are investigating threats against B.C. MP Ujjal Dosanjh. Insp. Paul Richardson says his team was informed Thursday of what he described as “very serious” threats posted on Facebook, and an investigation is underway.

Several of the entries have been removed from the site but at least one posting on Friday morning urged the assassination of the Indo-Canadian politician, saying it would be better to pierce Dosanjh with bullets than compassion.

Dosanjh has been an outspoken critic of Sikh extremism, and most recently sounded the alarm that extremism might be on the rise in Canada after he was the target of veiled threats on a Punjabi-language radio show. He says some of the postings have been printed for him and “Canadians should take these threats very seriously as an indication of poisoned minds, born and raised in Canada.”

The one-time B.C. premier has received threats in the past and was severely beaten in 1985 for his condemnation of Sikh violence in the Punjab during the Khalistan separatist movement.

Innocent questions: Who do you suppose the anonymous posters might be? Do you think they might wear turbans? If any are ever identified, do you think they'll be prosecuted for uttering threats or hate crimes? Answers on the back of a postage stamp to Walt at the usual address.

Also see: "Canadian Sikhs: The shaming of the majority by the brutality of the few", by Anthony Reinhart, from the Globe and Mail, 25/4/10.

Is nothing sacred to the gay lobby?

A reader has taken issue with Walt's use of the term "gay lobby". Do I really believe, (s)he asks, that there's a homosexual conspiracy to infiltrate positions of power and influence? Well, just as there are some who believe that Jews control banking and finance, so there are some who believe that homosexuals run the worlds of fashion and entertainment.

Have a look at Fashion TV and tell me that those clothes aren't designed by people who hate women. Or want women to look like 13-year-old boys!

As for entertainment, one has only to note the number of openly gay characters who appear in American TV sitcoms and soap operas. Four characters in the Simpsons appear to be, or have declared themselves, part of "the LGBT community". So what? It's all part of an orchestrated campaign (if not a conspiracy) to make being queer seem "normal". That's what!

And of course there was Brokeback Mountain. Hey, there's two nice guys who just happen to love each other and like to spend time doing things together...manly things like riding and there's nothing wrong with them, right? They don't have those little toothbrush mustaches and do disgusting things in bath-houses, do they?

(Mrs. Walt, having led a sheltered life, asked me what they do do. If she'd gone to school in a place where they have modern sex education she wouldn't have had to ask!)

And then there's comic books. Are you ready for this? Remember Archie? Well, in No. 202 of Archie Comics, coming to your newsstand in September, a new character moves to Riverdale. His name is Kevin Keller and he's a hunk! And guess what, girls? He's gay!

Says Jon Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics Publications, "We want to make Archie Comics move forward and make it fun and inclusive." Ah yes, good normal fun. "He’ll definitely be part of the gang," he said. And at some point, he added, Kevin will "probably" have a "romance". Progressive parents will doubtless want to snap up that issue so they can show it to their kids!

“We pride ourselves on being a mirror to society, especially youth," Goldwater continued. "The kids in our book are in high school and we want to reflect everything that’s going on in their world from social interaction, to fashion, to friends." interaction...homosexuality... if you're not into all that, hey, you're just not Archie and his friends.

Footnote: If you can't remember which Simpsons character came out of the closet, e-mail and I'll tell you.

Normal people speak up, government listens ... for once

Homosexuality is normal! That's what the huge and vocal gay lobby would have you believe. And that's what the Globe & Mail editors say in their lead editorial yesterday.

Don't you believe it! According to their own estimate, about 1 out of 10 adults is gay. That's 10 percent of the population. That means that 90% is straight. If 9 out of 10 people have one sexual orientation, and 1 out of 10 has another, which one is "normal"?!

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that homosexuality is common! Lots of people do it. Like murder, theft, and drunk driving. Lots of people do those things too. But that doesn't make them right!

Think about it. Next time a cop pulls you over and accuses you of DUI, are you going to say, "Don't worry about it, officer. Some of my best friends do it, and I've done it myself many times before."? Tell that to the judge and see what happens.

Nor should we teach our children that drunk driving or theft or murder are socially or morally acceptable. Clearly they are not. Neither is homosexuality.

I mention this because the government of Ontario has just bowed to public opinion (for once) and abandoned a plan to force its public schools to teach in sex ed classes beginning in Grade 3 that homosexuality, masturbation and other deviant behaviour is "normal". See Walt's column of March 4th.

It's tempting to hail this as a triumph for common sense, morality and the vox populi. But the opinion-makers, especially the liberal media (hello Globe & Mail! hello CBC!) are moaning about "intolerance", "a return to the dark ages", "homophobia" and of course "hate crime" and "human rights".

There's also the spectre of the gay lobby and Forces of Progress pushing and pushing until the "new enlightenment" creeps back into the curriculum. "After all," they'll tell you, "this is the 21st century. Anything goes!" Don't you believe it!

One last (?) thought... Please, normal people, be more vocal! According to the media it was pressure from "Christians and Muslims" and "the religious right" that forced the McGuinty government to back away from this diabolical plan to corrupt our children. In fact it was the individual, small but courageous acts of 1000s of ordinary but outraged citizens that made the Liberals sit up and take notice.

I say "courageous" because it takes real courage, these days, to speak up. Write a letter to the editor, send an e-mail, forward an article to your mailing list, write your MP or MPP, say anything that deviates from the secular liberal agenda, and you risk being labelled a "right-wing nut", a "religious extremist", or a "hater".

Just remember, the ordinary, normal people still think of our North American society as a Christian society. We still have certain principles in which we believe. We can still tell right from wrong. When something is wrong, we must not be afraid to say so!

Footnote: For more on the controversy and a sampling of opinions, check out "Muslims, Christians challenge Ontario’s more explicit sex ed".

From that article, here's the opinion of Murielle Boudreau, of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network. “I don’t understand how the business of sensual behaviour between consenting adults has anything to do with Grade 3,” she said. “Grade 6? Getting them ready for masturbation and vaginal lubrication? Give me a break. They’re going to traumatize these children!”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Firing the first shot of the Canadian culture wars

In his book Open and Shut (see Walt, passim), John Ibbotson talks about the differences between American and Canadian political culture and society. Keeping the book short, Mr. Ibbotson did not explore the significance of the "culture wars" that now divide the USA.

To paint with a very broad brush, Americans divide into two camps: the Christian right vs the secular left. The Democrats tend to line up with the latter. The Republicans tend to waffle becauase the former are a minority...a very vocal minority to be sure...and the Republicans need some of the non-religious voters to get back in office.

And now we have the Tea Partiers, the cranky old white men (and women) like Walt who are against the nanny state and in favour of individual rights, freedoms and responsibilities. A few weeks ago Walt said Canada needs a Tea Party. Just recently Sarah Palin spoke to a sell-out crowd in Hamilton, Ontario -- Canada's answer to Bethlehem PA. Believe me, there are lots of disgruntled Canadians out there.

Now Frank Graves of Ekos Research, a sometime adviser to Canada's Liberal Party, has told the Grits that the "wedge politics" of the Conservatives provide the Liberals with a chance to present a "stark alternative".

In other words, he recommends that the Libs throw the conservative wing of their party under the big red bus and pin their hopes on winning a majority of the "progressives" who reside in the genteel areas of Toronto and Montréal. "Forget about the yokels. Win Westmount and Rosedale and all will be well."

Bring on the polarizing debate, says Mr. Graves. It worked for Jean Chrétien against Preston Manning and Stockwell Day, so why wouldn't it work for the Iggster?

"I told them," Mr. Graves confides to a reporter, "that they should invoke a culture war. Cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, secularism versus moralism, Obama versus Palin, tolerance versus racism and homophobia, democracy versus autocracy. If the cranky old men in Alberta don’t like it, too bad. Go south and vote for Palin."

Wow! Strong stuff! Walt doesn't live in Alberta, but hopes most fervently that the Liberals will take Mr. Grave's advice and BRING IT ON!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Karaoke kriticism

Walt's attention has belatedly been drawn to a small item in the New York Times reporting on "karaoke killings" in the Philippines. Anyone who has visited the Philippines or knows that Filipinos love to sing and entertain. Filipino singers are to be found in bars and nightclubs all over Asia and the Middle East. Sadly, not all of them are equally talented.

Rodolfo Gregorio has a karaoke bar in the small Philippines city of General Santos. It has been the site of some killings, apparently because of the lyrics to that old karaoke favourite "My Way".

"Those words are so arrogant," said Mr. Gregorio. "'I did it my way, I ate it up and spit it out.' They make the singers feel proud and arrogant, and that leads to fights. Then someone pulls out a gun! Too many people have died through singing that song, so I've taken it out of the playbook."

So severe is the criticism that local media have invented a new category of crime: My Way Killings. According to one reporter "There are karaoke machines and illegal guns eveerywhere in these islands, and Filipinos pride themselves on their singing. They have a very low tolerance for bad singers, and an out-of-tune rendition of 'My Way' often seems to trigger violence."

Moral of the story: If you ever find yourself in a karaoke bar in the Philippines, do sing...but sing something else!

Sikh, Sikh, Sikh

A couple of years back, when Agent 78 visited Toronto for the first time, she was taken by her host on a tour of downtown Toronto which included a stop at Osgoode Hall, seat of the Supreme Court of Ontario. In the beautiful Queen's Bench courtroom, she was shown a bullet hole in one of the lawyers' desks.

That, she was told, is where Oscar Fonseca was killed in 1982. Mr. Fonseca, a lawyer, was working at the time, representing a group of Sikhs fighting -- literally -- for control of a temple. Click here to read the story.

The bullet hole is still there, and it should remind us that the Sikh way of resolving disputes is, er... not exactly the Canadian way. Better to kill someone than go to court and take your chances in front of a Canadian judge.

28 years later, no lessons seem to have been learned. On April 4th, a Sikh lawyer, was stabbed at a Sikh temple in Brampton. (Brampton, a bedroom community northwest of Toronto, is home to a large community of Sikhs, so much so that one of its subdivisions, Springdale, is known to locals as "Sikhdale".)

A local news report concludes, "Harvans Jandali, president of Ontario Sikh and Gurdwara Council, condemned the violence, saying 'the fight should have never happened at the temple — that’s a sacred place.'”

Yes, well... On the 18th, it happened again. This time there was a "pitched battle" (I'm quoting the report in the Toronto Star) at another temple. Four people were injured and three arrested.

Violence is the Sikh way of resolving disputes and settling scores. Am I exaggerating or generalizing? Don't forget the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Read the Wikipedia article, particularly the list of suspects. See all those "Singhs"? Although not all Singhs are Sikhs, all Sikhs are Singhs. Thanks to the super-fairness of the Canadian court system and the vaunted Canadian Charter of Rights, only one Sikh was ever convicted.

Why are all these Sikhs killing (or trying to kill) each other, here in Canada? Why can they not leave the battles of their homelands (India and Pakistan) behind them? Why do they insist on wearing their turbans and special underwear and carrying their small but deadly kirpans, even into our schools?

Before you start telling me to be more tolerant, let me quote the wise words of Ujjal Dosanjh, an Indian-Canadian, a former federal cabinet minister and onetime premier of British Columbia. He is quoted in today's Globe & Mail as saying Sikh extremism is on the rise in some parts of the country. And he blames, in part, “politically correct” Canadians who let it happen in the name of diversity.

Mr. Dosanjh was savagely beaten in Vancouver in 1985 after speaking out against religious violence, Canadian multiculturalism, he says, has allowed extremism to take root in Sikh and other ethnic communities.

Don't accuse me of racism and intolerance! Take Mr. Dossanjh's word for it. "Separatist extremism is more entrenched in some Canadian Sikh communities than in Punjab, the Indian region where the "Free Khalistan" movement originated." Jane Armstrong's excellent article is worth quoting at length.

"Mr. Dosanjh blamed what he described as Canada’s polite brand of multiculturalism for giving extremists the space to nurture old grudges brought from their homelands. At the same time, Canada has failed to instill its own values on new immigrants.

"'I think what we are doing to this country is that this idea of multiculturalism has been completely distorted, turned on its head to essentially claim that anything anyone believes – no matter how ridiculous and outrageous it might be – is okay and acceptable in the name of diversity.'

"'Where we have gone wrong in this pursuit of multiculturalism is that there is no adherence to core values, the core Canadian values, which [are]: That you don’t threaten people who differ with you; you don’t go attack them personally; you don’t terrorize the populace.'

"Mr. Dosanjh urged mainstream Canadians who aren’t part of these ethnic communities to step up and speak against extremism. 'I think Canadians need to engage in this cultural diversity debate,' he said. 'We should stop being politically correct and have a debate.'"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bacha bazi: Find out about it on PBS

Bacha bazi means "boy play" in one of the languages of Afghanistan. It's part of the culture we're fighting to preserve, along with democracy of course. I wouldn't have known this but for a heads-up from John Doyle in the TV review column of the Globe & Mail.

In a piece headlined "The taboo topic our mission in Afghanistan ignores", Mr. Doyle recommends watching an investigative report on this disgusting (his word) facet of Afghan culture, which will air on PBS today (Tuesday). Check your local listings for time and channel.

Tune in and you will see how preteen and young teenage boys are sold to powerful businessmen and former warlords. Sold for sex.

Walt wonders why pedophilia and sexual abuse gets so much media coverage when it's a problem in the Church, but almost none when it's part of the Afghan/Muslim tradition. It says something that this documentary got its first and only mention in the entertainment section. If a slave auction of underage boys was held in the Vatican it would be front-page news!

It seems the topic – like the alleged abuse of Afghan detainees – is taboo, something government and senior military officials would prefer to ignore.

To quote Mr. Doyle: "The mission in Afghanistan is sold to us as protecting civilians and training an Afghan army and police to eventually take over that mission. Nobody wants us talking about the possibility that the mission includes deliberately ignoring what we consider evil committed by allies in Afghanistan.

"That would mean debating a moral quandary. And the morality of the mission in Afghanistan is supposed to be crystal clear. Essentially, what everybody is ignoring is the possibility that 'getting the job done' in Afghanistan (as the military usually describes it) might mean turning a blind eye to pedophilia."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A crime against nature

A reader suggests that Walt needs a little rest in which to lighten up, this after a pretty heavy week. So today let's move to a less serious topic, a "crime against nature" you don't hear about every day...

A 66-year-old man in the Midlands district of England has pleaded guilty to having sex with a horse and a donkey. Joseph Squires appeared in charged with sodomizing a donkey between February 2 and February 5, 1999, and a horse between March 15 and 18, 2004.

He also faced charges of damaging property, relating to the same animals on the same dates.

Squires, whose address was previously given as Overpark Avenue, Leicester, was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty to all four counts at Leicester Crown Court. Defence counsel Amar Mehta told the court Squires had no previous convictions and was of previous good character.

Requesting that Squires be released on bail, he said: “The defendant does not have a stable address.”

Unfortunately, the last paragraph of the report got torn off so we'll never know if the judge granted bail or died laughing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A right for Americans, not Canucks

I'm waiting for the accusations of hate-mongering to start coming in in response to at least one of today's posts. I refer to the one quoting comments on the Toronto Star's story on "human rights abuses".

Sadly, things have gotten to the point, in Canada, where one risks being labelled a "hater" for daring to voice even a mild opinion that multiculturalism is the greatest con job ever perpetrated on Canadians, or that immigration from the third world is not an unalloyed boon.

As Mark Steyn (who writes for Maclean's among others) discovered, you can get hauled in front of one or more human rights tribunals for merely quoting someone else's non-PC opinion. So Walt, fearless as ever, is going to do just that, taking one more quote from the comments on the Star's story.

"A former Director of Ontario's Commission publically called for an end to the legal presumption of innocence, and the Federal Commission opined publically that 'Freedom of Speech is an American concept that we don't give much credence to.' Any Canadian who has any love for Common Law liberties wants these Commissions shut down. No changes, no adjustments or timkering. The Laws that create them repealed, and the Commissions shut down forever. No compromise."

John Ibbitson left that one out of Open and Shut. If there's one idea or ideal or right which Americans understand and practise far better than Canadians, it's freedom of speech!

Multiculturalism and discrimination: comments from Torontonians

Today's Toronto Star has a provocative article headlined "Complaints overwhelm human rights watchdog". It reports a number of stories -- some horrific, some ridiculous -- of real or imagined discrimination or harrassment because of gender or, above all, race.

The mission of the Ontario and other human rights commissions is to put right these wrongs, in other words to throw money at the complainants. In so doing they're supposed to teach us lessons in tolerance and make the world a more politically correct place.

More interesting than the story are the comments appended to it, which you can read here. A majority of those writing in feel that multiculturalism is an experiment which has failed (I'm quoting), that immigrants should adjust themselves to Canadian norms rather than the other way around, and that the quest for political correctness has gone way too far.

Here's just one of the comments:
I have said many times... "Toronto will be come a city of tribes where racial, ethnic and religious violence will be the order of the day"...we are not far from that now!No longer is it just white against black and black against white. It is a multitude of different races that have come to this country bringing their past baggage with them . It is the fault of us Canadians not to insist that they confirm to our standards and our way of life. Under our so very tolerant attitude where everyone has rights to do as they so choose... even so called refugees... these people continue to live as they have in their home countries with their customs, bigotry and hate. Many refuse to intergrate into the Canadian way of life. We as Canadians need to get tough. I am an immigrant of color that has been here since the 60's I have seen a great deterioration in our standards and quality of life due to this exteremely tolerant attitude that we as Canadians have.

"C" said it. I didn't.

Here's another, with an interesting suggestion:
In reading this article it looks like many of these complaints are from new or recent immigrant groups against each other. In most part this is probably due to bringing interracial tension, ethnic and religious clashes and personal racist, discriminatory and prejudiced beliefs with them from their country of origin. Maybe the HRC should order mandatory sensitivity training for all new immigrants and refugees as a condition of entering Canada.

Well by golly...!!! I wish I'd thought of that! But would any Canadian politician dare to suggest such a thing? Especially in the Greater (sic) Toronto Area? When pigs fly...

Homosexuality: "disorder", "sin", neither or both?

A number of readers have suggested that I am a homophobe, preaching hatred against homosexuals. I am no more so than the Pope or his 2IC, Cardinal Bertone. I am merely drawing attention to the traditional teaching of the Church that homosexuality is a disordered state.

What, exactly, does that mean? Dr. Jeff Mirus, writing in Catholic Culture, gives an excellent summary:

"In Catholic parlance, what determines whether something is naturally disordered is whether or not it is operating according to its proper end, whether it is properly ordered to its natural purpose. If it is not, we call it “disordered”. Inclinations with respect to any of our faculties which make us want to use those faculties in a manner inconsistent with their proper end are not sinful; they simply reflect our own disorder, our lack of perfect integrity."

Does that mean that homosexuality is a sin? According to Dr. Mirus, "if we proceed to indulge an inclination to act in a manner inconsistent with the relevant proper ends, we do in fact sin. Thus, I reminded the correspondent that the Church does not hold a homosexual inclination to be sinful—it is merely disordered—but the Church does regard homosexual activity as sinful, in keeping with the clear witness of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium."

Those two paragraphs are as fair and clear an explanation of the Church's position on homosexuality as I've seen in a long time...much better than anything I could write myself. Click here to read the entire article.

But is the Church's position correct? Is the truth about homosexuality what the Church says it is? Click here to read the follow-up by Dr. Jeff Mirus, "Homosexuality 2: the Truth Question".

Book review: The vanishing Christians of the Near East

William Dalrymple has written three travel books: In Xanadu: A Quest; City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi; and From the Holy Mountain . Having discovered Dalrymple only recently, I have read them all over the course of the last two months. They are that good.

Mr. Dalrymple has a deep interest in art, architecture and archaeology. He has a tendency to rabbit on about the arcania of arches and architraves. [That's enough alliteration. ed.] But there's a generous admixture of historical trivia, social commentary and humour, which renders his writing the opposite of dull.

From the Holy Mountain records Dalrymple's meandering journey through the Holy Land, as it used to be called, from Mount Athos in Greece to Al Kharga in upper (southern) Egypt. Along the way, the author, a not-quite-lapsed Catholic, finds himself touched and perplexed by the plight of the Christians of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and Egypt.

He paints a grim picture of the dwindling and downtrodden Christian communities, and gives vivid and provoking details of their persecution by Muslims and Jews alike. He makes the point that for the six centuries until the rise of Islam in the 7th century, the Near East was predominantly Christian. It boasted thousands of fine churches, monasteries, shrines and other holy sites. The 21st-century Christian pilgrim will see almost none of these, because they are being vandalized and wilfully obliterated by Muslims and (especially) Jews.

Whereas Christians are nowadays generally tolerant of the religious minorities in their midst, the same is not true of the Jews and Muslims of the Holy Land. Dalrymple hears and records the voices of survivors of deportation, persecution, humiliation and even massacre. Their graphic accounts give life and meaning to the sterile term "ethnic cleansing". And they are unanimous in their belief that within a decade or two, there will be no indigenous Christians left in the Holy Land.

Dalrymple writes "Christianity is an Eastern religion which grew firmly rooted in the intellectual ferment of the Middle East. John Moschos [Syrian monk and ascetical writer, c. 550-619] saw that plant begin to wither in the hot winds of change that scoured the Levant of his day. On my journey in his footsteps I have seen the very last stalks in the process of being uprooted."

From the Holy Mountain was written in 1997. In one section the author describes the confiscation of thousands of acres of Christian-owned land on the West Bank, where the Israeli government is busy building settlements on top of the rubble of Christian churches and Muslim mosques. Thirteen years later, the occupation and settlement of the West Bank continues.

William Dalrymple is no raving anti-Semite. But his travels in Israel lead his inexorably to the conclusion that the Israels intend to continue in their "settlement" until there are no Muslims and no Christians left in their "promised land".

In this hate crime -- for that's what it is -- the Israelis apparently have the full support of America and Canada. Such is the power of the Jewish lobby in New York and Toronto. Dear reader, if you want to make your pilgrimage to the Holy City, do it now, before it's razed to the ground.

Missing the point of Ibbotson's book

A Canadian reader contacted me to say he can't believe I agree with John Ibbotson, given that Mr. Ibbotson, although (or perhaps because) he writes for the Globe and Mail, is very much a member of the Toronto liberal establishment.

Sorry, but in recommending Ibbotson's Open and Shut, I did not say I agree with his conclusions. I disagree violently with his advocacy of gay rights (he says nothing about gay wrongs), women's reproductive rights (meaning the right to kill babies) and multiculturalism (turning the rest of Canada into Toronto).

But I understand why he wrote the book. Its main point, it seems to me, is to rouse Canadians from their adequacy, to point out the intellectual sloth and gross leadership deficiencies of their politicians and public service, and to promote a national debate on how to improve.

Indeed, at the very end of his book, Ibbotson invites readers to participate in the Open and Shut online forum. I'm going to join up and if you feel like speaking your mouth [mind? ed.] I suggets you do the same.

If, for instance, you feel that Mr. Ibbotson is wrong to suggest that Canada has anything to learn from the U.S.A. about how to better manage its cities or improve the quality of public education, Mr. Ibbotson's forum (sponsored and run by the Globe and Mail) would be the place to say so. Others, including the author, will disagree with you. But that's exactly the kind of dialogue Mr. Ibbotson is trying to encourage, to open up the closed society that is Canada.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The CBC: It's NOT a Canadian thing

Faced with declining audiences and decreasing support from the public who pay its bills, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (aka the Canadian Broadcorping Castration -- but that's an old blooper) has launched a series of TV sports to show how Canadian it is.

Why this should be necessary, apart from the reasons cited above, is unclear. You'd think the name would say it all, as would the fact that the CBC was created by act of Parliament in the 1930s to provide a broadcasting service that would reach and serve all of Canada. Perhaps the problem is that the CBC needs to be reminded of its mandate.

Here are three examples the CBC's new ads cite to prove "it's a Canadian thing". (That's the strap line. Geddit?)
  • You can hear play-by-play of NHL games in Punjabi! The Sikh gentlemen calling the games are shown with great beads of sweat under their turbans from thinking up the Punjabi equivalents of "puck", "high-sticking" and "Leafs lose again".
  • The CBC broadcasts Little Mosque on the Prairie, the very Canadian story of the funny things that happen in a Muslim community in the hinterlands of Saskatchewan. Little Mosque, they claim, is being aired (if not watched) in dozens of countries...excluding Canada.
  • In June the CBC-TV will be showing, live from South Africa, the World Cup, the global championship of "the beautiful game" which has such a wide following in Yellowknife, Medicine Hat and Dildo, Newfoundland. (American readers can look that up on Google.) This presumably makes up for not broadcasting the Winter Olympics which were held in Vancouver.

The problem -- and the truth -- is that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is not a Canadian thing. It's a Toronto thing! It's run by a gang of very liberal, very PC elites whose view of Canada is about as far as they can see from the top of the CN Tower (just across the street from CBC HQ).

This subset of the chattering classes is even more out of touch with the thinking and interests of typical Canadians [is there such a thing? ed.] than their political masters in Ottawa. Outside of Surrey BC and Mississauga ON, Corner Gas (not a CBC sitcom) is infinitely more relevant...and more funny...than Little Mosque could ever be. As for Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, words fail me.

I'm not arguing for the sale of the CBC to private enterprise, as has been suggested more than once. Nor do I advocate cutting off its public funding. I just wish the Corp's marketing and PR people would get real, and stop trying to convince us that multiculturalism is the Canadian norm.

Book review: Why Valerie Chu won't win the next Canadian election

What's wrong with Canada? Especially in comparison with the U.S.A.? How come America got Barack Obama and Canada is stuck with Stephen Harper? These are questions that John Ibbitson attempts quite successfully to answer in his new (and commendably short) book, Open and Shut.

As the title suggests, Ibbitson argues that the U.S.A. is an open society, whereas Canadian society is closed. He argues, and Walt agrees, that a Barack Obama could never be nominated as leader of a major Canadian party let alone elected. Why? Because both the Conservative and Liberal parties are dominated by small, closed groups of old, white guys.

Ibbotson illustrates by constructing a fictional character, Valerie Chu, who he says would make an ideal prime minister, but who decides not to put herself forward because she couldn't possibly win. She might, though, have a shot after one or two more minority governments, if one or other of the parties opens up its processes and, more important, its thinking.

I particularly like Mr. Ibbotson's analysis of why "the quality of leadership [in Canada] is so laclustre that fewer and fewer Canadians are even bothering to vote". One of three reasons he gives is that Canadian political parties are broken, because "with each new government, fewer people have more power".

Canada went from Jean Chrétien's friendly dictatorship (Jeffrey Simpson's phrase) to Steve's not-so-friendly dictatorship. Ah yes, Stephen Harper, the "overweight economist who couldn't offer an honest smile to save his life" who managed to beat Stephane Dion, "a backpacking political scientist whose English made your ears bleed".

Ibbotson is similarly scathing about almost all the tin gods of Canadian politics with the possible exception of Michael Ignatieff, possibly because he doesn't know Iggy very well yet.

Open and Shut should be read immediately by any and every Canadian concerned with saving his or her country from its politicians. It's published by McClelland & Stewart (2009) and has a cover price of C$18.99 or US$14.95. If you can't find it in your library, go to Bellingham or Buffalo to buy it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vatican spinning like a top on homosexuality

The homosexual lobby in the media and centres of progressive thinking has thrown a collective and predictable hissy-fit over Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone's statement linking the Church's sex abuse problem to homosexuality in the priesthood. (See yesterday's post here.)

Proving once again that it cares more for "public opinion" than the opinion of God, the Vatican is backtracking furiously, without actually saying His Eminence was wrong. This they do by way of "a clarification" of Bertone's statement.

Vatican spinmeister Fr. Federico Lombardi says, "We refer here of course to the problem of abuse by priests and not in the general population. Putting it another way, the Church says it knows what the problem is with Her priests, but doesn't really have a clue why the 1000s of other homosexual pedophiles do what they do.

Fr. Lombardi went on to say that the Church does not "make general statements of a specifically physiological or medical character," and Cardinal Bertone did not intend to speak on the relationship between homosexual orientation and pedophile offenses. Walt wonders how Fr. Lombardi would know the cardinal's intentions? Does Bertone go to him for confession?

However, Father Lombardi continued, in a statistical examination of reports on clerical abuse, the Vatican's chief prosecutor has found that only 10% of the cases involved true pedophilia (abuse of small children), while 90% were cases of ephebophilia (abuse of adolescents). [Hey, we learned a new word! ed.] He added that 60% of all cases involved same-sex other words, men assaulting other men or big or little boys.

That 60% figure falls significantly short of the statistics for the United States, where a thorough analysis in the John Jay report showed that more than 80% of the reported instances of abuse by American Catholic priests involved boys.

You can read Vatican Radio's report of Father Lombardi's statement here. It's also worth taking a look at "Vatican No.2 'didn't mean gays outside Church'". The subheadline for the article is "Religious officials not competent in medical sphere" to which Walt would add that they seem to be lacking as well in competence in proclaiming the Church's traditional teachings on homosexuality.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homosexuality and pedophilia in the Church: whose fault is it?

Readers of this blog will know that I have no love and little respect for Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State and pope wannabe. Bertone is the chief liar and denier of the Message of Fatima, as well as being principal apologist for the mess that is the modern (post-Vatican II) Roman Catholic Church.

Every once in a while, though, the "Prime Minister of the Holy See" says something that is dead right, and according to the traditional teaching of the Church. More's the pity that his flashes of insight don't occur more often.

Last week His Eminence said at a news conference in Chile that the crisis of clerical sex abuse is due more to the homosexuality of large numbers of priests and bishops, rather than the discipline of clerical celibacy.

“Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true,” he said. “The behaviour of the priests in this case, the negative behaviour, is very serious, is scandalous.”

In the last sentence quoted, the cardinal displays his remarkable facility for stating the obvious. But the point of the message -- that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia -- begs the question of how it is that so many homosexuals and pedophiles come to be wearing Roman collars.

Please read or reread Paedophilia in the Church - the effect of the Sixties, which I wrote here on March 25th. I venture the opinion that, up until the 60s and Vatican II, the Church had no greater proportion of homosexuals in Her priesthood and laity than any other institution or segment of the population. There is...or was...nothing about Catholicism that would lead one to decide to be queer!

Then came the sexual revolution. Nothing was wrong any more. The Church stopped preaching about sin and hell. Catholics no longer got straight answers (in Confession) to questions about sex and moral behaviour. Instead, when we asked "Father, is that a sin?", the answer we got was "How do you feel about it?" (Not kidding. I personally heard those very words.)

As might have been foreseen, the seminaries -- at least some of them -- became hotbeds of homosexuality. Just one example was in the Archdiocese of Toronto where the Cardinal Archbishop felt compelled to have the seminar closed because it had become a den of iniquity.

Who is to blame for opening the doors of the Church to "the smoke of Satan"? I'm quoting Pope Paul VI, who now must realize the answer to the question. If not, let's hope that, wherever he is now, there's a mirror for him to look in! For it is the Church hierarchy, at the highest levels, including Cardinal Bertone and Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, who did nothing to stop -- even encouraged -- the erosion of the traditional teachings of the Church and the immorality of growing numbers of priests.

The Chinese have a saying, "The fish always rots from the head down." So it is with large institutions, including the Church. When the leaders, who should be giving firm and proper guidance and direction to those below them, are more concerned with winning popularity contests and chasing the fashions of the times, one cannot expect other than the decline and fall of the institution.

So it was with the Roman empire. So it was with the British empire. So it is today with the American empire. And so it will be with the Roman Catholic Church unless the clear warnings of Scripture and Our Lady of Fatima are not heeded.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Walt's fearless NHL forecast - Eastern Conference

This is easier to do than the western half of the NHL. The big question is who's going to stop Washington this year? And the answer is... noooooooobody.

Eastern Conference

Montréal Canadiens (just squeaked into 8th place) have the unenviable task of trying to put out the Washington Capitals (1st). Washington's goaltending (including ex-Hab Jose Theodore) is suspect, but Canadiens go-to guy, Jaroslav Halak, has had a poor finish to the season. The Habs offence is MIA, and the mercy rule may have to be invoked to keep Alexander Ovechkin and company from reaching double digits. Caps in 4.

Philadelphia Flyers (7th) face Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils (2nd). I said it that way for a reason. Flyers only finished in 7th because of the Canadiens meltdown at season's end. Brian Boucher is a journeyman goalie at best, but Brodeur...what can you say? Give the Flyers one for the pest factor, but Devils in 5.

Boston Bruins (6th) vs Buffalo Sabres (3rd) is not as good a match as it looks on paper. Bruins have struggled all season to put the puck in the net and goaltending is a question mark. Sabres have Vanek back -- four goals in his last game of the season -- and Ryan Miller is the best goalie in the east. Sabres could put just Miller and Vanek on the ice and the Bruins would still lose. 5 games, maybe 6, tops.

Ottawa Senators (5th) meet Sid the Kid and the Pittsburgh Penguins (4th). Bad luck for the sens that these two teams finished where they did. Now they have to contend with not just Crosby but Evgeny Malkin and a super-strong offence. Even with mediocre goaltending, I can't see Pittsburgh losing. Pens in 5.

Footnote: The other game which I'll actually pay to see is lacrosse. And yes, there is a professional lacrosse league in the Great Lakes and northeastern USA region.

Walt's fearless NHL forecast - Western Conference

There are only two professional sports that Walt gets excited about. One is hockey -- ice hockey, for those of you residing in warmer climes. The other is not.

The other is certainly not soccer -- or football as the alleged sport is misnamed in the ROTW. What kind of a game is that?! I mean, you can't use your hands, you can't hold a piece of wood and clobber somebody. Some sport. Bah.

So, the National Hockey League regular season is over. It must be spring because the Leafs are out. Only 16 teams are left to begin the contest for Lord Stanley's silverware. Here's Walt's call for the first round.

Western Conference

Colorado Avalanche (finished 8th) gets a shot at the San Jose Sharks (1st). The Avs have youth, but that could be a minus rather thana plus. And they have Duchene, my pick for rookie of the year (just ahead of Tyler Myers of Buffalo). But the Sharks have a top gun in Dany Heatley. Sharks in 6.

Nashville Predators (7th) takes on Chicago Blackhawks (2nd). References to "a Cinderella team" are such cliches that I hesitate to use the phrase, but here we have two. Chicago's got two great young players in Kane and Toews, plus the best sweaters in the NHL. Nashville is the classic Team No-Name, to the point where I can't name even one of their players. But if there's going to be an upset in the west, this is the series in which it will happen. Nashville in 7.

Los Angeles Kings (6th) are supposedly in tough against Vancouver Canucks (3rd). Vancouver has the Swedish twins and Rob Luongo, who shone in goal for Canada in the Olympics. But Luongo's star has dimmed a bit, perhaps due to the weight of the gold medal around his neck. And a winning team needs more than one line. Still, CBC is making this the marquee series, so I see it going 7 games, with the Canucks coming out on top...just barely.

Detroit Red Wings (5th) vs Phoenix Coyotes (4th). What's this about Detroit having a hard time? Phoenix has home ice advantage but so what? They play in a market that just isn't ready for hockey, to the point where they've had trouble giving away tickets. They've got a hot goalie but Detroit's rookie Jimmy Howard is 15-0-2 in his last 17 outings. How hot is that?! Phoenix will be lucky to win one. Detroit in 5.

Eastern Conference next time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Private Tyler William Todd, RIP

Pte. Todd was killed today in Afghanistan. He stepped on an IED. He was 26.

Last week, Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay pledged to send another 90 soldiers to Aghanistan, bringing the number of Canadians serving there to nearly 3000. How many of them will never come back?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Help Kids Canada - a scam or only half a scam?

Agent 3 complains of being roused from his Saturday siesta by a knock at the door from a teenage boy who said he was "from Help Kids Canada". He was peddling chocolate bars (since the Girl Scouts have the monopoly on cookies) and suggested that Agent 3 was a bad bastard for not supporting this worthy charity.

Agent 3, being something of a cynic [When he's cooking, is he a kitchen cynic? ed.] asked the boy if he could prove that Help Kids Canada is in fact a registered charity. The boy appealed to his "supervisor", who just happened to be driving by in a white van, who said yes, it is so, and here's the registration number if anyone wanted to see it.

Now munching on his chocolate bar, Agent 3 asks Walt if this is true, and why a reputable charity would be selling candy bars door to door. Here is what Walt found out.

Help Kids Canada is a registered charity. Where the kid and his supervisor lie is when they say that they represent or work for HKC. They do not. Here is the truth of the relationship between the chocolate sellers and the charity, as disclosed on the latter's website.

The supervisors and the kids who are selling chocolates are not employed by our organization.Their connection to our charity is that they support our organization by donating the net proceeds from the chocolate sales to Help Kids Canada. By "net proceeds" we mean what is left after the cost of chocolates and the cost of distribution, including the cost of transportation, personal expenses and payments to the kids, are deducted from their gross proceeds.

So there you have it. Those poor scrawny kids who knock at your door are being paid, but the people really making the money are their supervisors. (Agent 3 says the gal in the van was absolutely porcine.) It's very much a for-profit business. If there happens to be anything left, they give a little to the charity, and get a tax receipt for so doing.

It's a nice cozy arrangement for all concerned...except Agent 3 and others who get conned into paying a high price for a rather mediocre chocolate bar, all because they thought they were helping some poor kids.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tiger redux

There was a revolution in Kyrgystan yesterday. [Where dat? ed.] The president fled the capital city and the Russians have sent in troops to "protect Russian citizens".

We interrupt this news bulletin to bring you the really important news. Tiger Woods did well at the Masters yesterday, being just one stroke off the pace. [You're talking about golf? ed.]

And Tiger has a new commercial out for Nike, in which he stares at the camera while the voice of his father asks him soul-searching questions, all shot in black and white which looks very down-to-earth and sincere.

More Tiger news on the hour. Film at 7.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Back on Uncle Sam's plantation

Bloggers are talking about Uncle Sam's Plantation, a book by Star Parker, who is, let it be said, an Afro-American woman. The subject of the book is the American welfare system and the poverty trap, especially as it affects black people.

Here's a comment from an "opinionated older lady" by the name of Brenda Bowers, who can be reached at

This is a must read article from one who has been there, done that and dragged herself out of it.

I am of a white lower middle class background whose only experience with welfare is from working with those under its addictive control and watching the lives it has destroyed as the numbers in poverty increase yearly and the number of illegitamate babies being born into poverty and thus trapped in this life style have increased three fold since Johnson’s Great Society of 1965 was supposed to end poverty forever.

I have seen that no such thing happened at all. Poverty increased. It increased because of several reasons, all of which I have at one time or another discussed on this blog. It failed because it took the Black husbands out of the homes making the Black man superfluous. It failed because the Blacks themselves became addicted to the life of having money for food and free housing provided and tho it was a bare subsistence existence it required nothing from it’s recipients.

It failed because we kept trying to fix it by throwing more and more money at the poor which was akin to giving a crack addict an inadequate but steady supply of crack while trying to get him to break the habit. It failed because by making marriage almost impossible for poor Blacks it contributed to an acceptance of immoral behaviors in the Black community to a much greater degree than in any other ethnic community. An on and on and none of them productive!

For my efforts the nicest things said is to call me a racist. Well this article is from the “horse’s mouth” you might say. I hardly think you can call Star Parker a racist. So what can you call her message? You tell me after having read it. BB

Sadly, Ms. Parker's own comments, "Back on Uncle Sam's plantation", are too long for inclusion here. But you can read them on a blog called "In Defense of Truth" by clicking here. Thanks to Agent 6 for the tip!

Better off in Rhodesia than Zimbabwe

For those a little hazy on African geography, Rhodesia and Zimbabwe refer to the same land mass at different points in history. Welcome to the 4th dimension.

Rhodesia was the name given to the country settled by white, British pioneers around the turn of the 20th century. It was named after the legendary Cecil Rhodes, the man with the vision of British Africa -- and a railway to unite it -- extending from the Cape to Cairo.

Later Rhodesia was divided. When the British lost the will to maintain their empire/commonwealth, Northern Rhodesia became Zambia. Southern Rhodesia resisted black rule, and declared independence from the U.K. on November 11, 1965.

The next 15 years, now known as the UDI period, saw illegal (and largely ineffective) UN sanctions against the government led by Ian Smith, and a vicious terrorist war waged by "Africans" -- black Africans, that is -- against the "settlers" -- white Africans, that is -- from bases in Mozambique and Zambia. It was during this time that I first visited Rhodesia.

The Rhodesians, betrayed by their kith and kin in Britain and dismayed by loss of support from South Africa and Portugal, were finally coerced into accepting "majority rule" in 1980. At that time Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe and power was handed over to Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, as he is still called in official documents and the sycophantic state-run media.

Zimbabwe is now governed by the principle of "one man one vote"...the one man being Comrade Bob, who has clung tenaciously to power ever since, despite being aged at least 85 and appearing to have somewhat lost the plot. As for the country, the once breadbasket of Africa has become a basket case.

I wish I had a dollar for every time a Zimbabwean said to me "Things were better in the old days." Or "It's too bad you [meaning whites] aren't still running things." That sentiment resonates even more loudly today, according to a recent article by Nicolas D. Kristof in The New York Times.

"Postcard from Zimbabwe" is well worth reading for a true picture of the life of the ordinary "Joe Povo" under Comrade Bob's despotic rule. Thanks to Agent 17 for drawing my attention to it.

His Master's Voice

Further to yesterday's post on the waste of lives and money in Afghanistan...

When Hillary Clinton visited Canada just before Easter, she asked Canada to extend its commitment to the war in Afghanistan beyond the 2011 exit date set by the Harper government. Perhaps Canada wouldn't have to do so much of the heavy lifting in future, she said. Steve said no way, come 2011 Canuck troops are out of there.

Then came Afghan President Krazee's "unhelpful" remarks, as reported this week and summarized here yesterday. And there was Steve on the TV yesterday saying Canada was definitely pulling out on time, just like the CPR.

Today Defence Minister Peter MacHackey has announced that Canada will send 90 more soldiers to Afghanistan next month. Their assignment will be to train the Afghan National Army to be more adept at killing at other Afghans. Big Mac did not say how long these fresh troops would stay.

Watching Canadian reaction to "suggestions" by the U.S.A. always reminds me of the old RCA Victor record labels. (That's HMV, for British readers.) Do you remember those? The picture of the old wind-up gramophone with the little white and black dog sitting with its ear cocked to the sound trumpet? The dog was named Little Nipper. (You can look it up.) And what was Little Nipper listening to? "His Master's Voice".

Footnote: With the addition of the 90, the number of Canadian troops in Afghanistan will be almost 3000, the highest yet.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How can the loss of Canadian lives in Afghanistan be justified any longer?

In case you missed it, Afghanistan's president was quoted a few days ago as saying that if foreigners didn't stop their meddling in his country -- and he does mean "his" -- he might just join the Taliban. To which most of us have replied "Good. Go for it!"

Walt has been saying since the beginning of this blog that the war in Afghanistanis futile and the lives lost there wasted. "Call me Steve" Harper and his toadies and apologists keep saying that, no, we're Doing Good there...doing something important to preserve democracy (the election of Mr. Karzai being an example), end the oppression of women and generally make Afghanistan a Much Better Place than it has ever been. Which is rubbish, of course.

Now Mr. Harpoon rings another change on that same old tune. Mr. Krazee's remarks, he says, are "not helpful, and in the context of the dangerous work that our people are doing they are completely unacceptable to Canada and I'm sure the same is true for all of our allies."

Steve is right about the remarks being unhelpful. But, as Brian Topp points out in today's Globe & Mail, Harper stops short of doing anything beyond disparaging Karzai's threat [promise? ed.].

There is almost a full year left before Mr. Harper's promise to withdraw Canadian troops kicks in. Given Mr. Karzai's attitude, how can he possibly justify the loss of even one more life in that hellhole of a "country"?

Offence intended

We seem to be living -- in Canada even more so than in the U.S.A. -- in an age and a society where no-one should ever be offended by anything, anytime, anywhere. In one translation of the Our Father, we ask God to "pardon us our offences", and indeed, we seem to spend a lot of time apologizing, now, for any offence we might have caused, even inadvertently, by anything we say or do.

Walt will not apologize! There are, in my view, lots of people, organizations and institutions that richly deserve offence...and lots of it!

As W.S. Gilbert wrote "I've got a little list..." Except it's not so little, and it grows every day. If you click on any on Walt's list of tags -- anything from Ablonczy to Zimbabwe -- there's about a 50/50 chance that you'll be led to at least one offensive statement. I try to leave no sacred ox ungored and no latter-day saint unstoned. Everyone, especially those in the highest places, needs a good swift kick in the shorts occasionally.

Yet there are those who say that we shouldn't say unkind things about the Greatest Living American and Leader of the Free World, or the Governor-General of Canada who is a Credit to Her Race. Indeed, it's all we can do, these days, to mention that Mr. Obama and Ms. Jean are... er... black.

To those who think we ought no longer to mix vitriol with printer's ink, I commend this thought from The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, by Philip Pullman:

“No one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to live their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it and if they open it and read it, they don't have to like it, and if you read it and dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me to complain about it. You can write to the publisher. You can write to the papers. You can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published or sold. Or bought or read.”

I have not read Mr. Pullman's book. From its title, I assume I would find it offensive. But, as he says, I don't have to read it. Nor would I try to stop its publication or ban its distribution. Nor would I report Mr. Pullman to one of our busybody human rights commissions. Let him say what he likes. Me too. That's what freedom of speech is all about.

Footnote: Where did I get the quote? From a fine piece by Tabatha Southey headlined "Canadian ruling on ‘offensive' comedy is a gag - but it's no joke", in the Globe & Mail April 2nd.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Haitian asylum-seeker faces jail

This is the story of Wisly Bejean, as reported in this morning's Globe & Mail. Mr. Bejean is no relation to Michaëlle Jean, the soon-to-be-ex Governor General of Canada. But he is her countryman, i.e. a Haitian, and he was living in the Montréal area.

Mr. Bejean had entered Canada at Fort Erie, Ontario, in October 2007, and immediately applied for asylum. While his claim was "pending" he was living as the guest of Canadian taxpayers, enjoying the numerous benefits dished out to refugee claimants, asylum seekers and other jetsam who wash up on Canada's shores.

Mr. Bejean, however, would have preferred to live in Florida. [Wouldn't we all? ed.] He had been living there before he came to Canada, and only migrated because he was facing deportation. Moreover, it seems he had a fiancee there and was keen to get back to her. So he set out on foot to cross the border back into the U.S.A. He was caught two weeks ago at 3:15 a.m. in the border village of North Troy, Vermont. He had no documents.

Here's where it gets interesting. Instead of apologizing to him for not being able give him instant legal status and social benefits, the U.S. Attorney is prosecuting Mr. Bejean and about three dozen other Haitians caught trying the same trick. They face up to two years in jail if found guilty of re-entering the country while facing an outstanding deportation order.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says that, while it has discretion about prosecuting such cases, it couldn’t turn a blind eye to a recent increase in alleged illegal entries. Said Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for Vermont, “It’s an issue that requires us to respond with a significant message of deterrence. We have laws against illegal immigration.”

Walt wonders if Mr. Coffin's opposite numbers in Canada heard this.

Tiger, Tiger burning bright

Between 5 and 8 p.m. yesterday I watched four TV newcasts: two local, one national and one "ethnic" -- in a language spoken by a large ethnic group. The lead story on all four was -- you guessed it -- the return of the Tiger and his "news" conference.

Why would this be the top news story of the day? It's not as if it was a slow day. The U.S. consulate in Peshawar was bombed. There was a mine accident in West Virginia. Over 100 coal miners were rescued from a flooded mine in China. A 7-year-old was gang-raped in Trenton NJ.

A sex abuser was pardoned in Canada. And of course there was gang violence and gun crime as usual. But hey, Tiger Woods is returning to the golf tour. Now that's news -- even in an ethnic community with little interest in golf!

Sadder still, Mr. Woods is big news not because he did something good, but as a result of frequent and serious moral lapses...or "bad choices" as we say these days. I'm not condemning him. If I was as "gifted" (as the term was used in Blazing Saddles) as the Tiger, I'd probably be putting it about too. But it seems to me that would be a personal affair between me and Mrs. Walt, and probably a divorce court judge. Why is it such a big and public deal?

The answer seems to be that we are obsessed with celebrity and celebrities. We celebrate their peccadilloes. In the case of Mr. Woods, we are delighted to see that his feet are indeed made of clay, even though other appendages seem to be of sterner stuff.

He has joined the ranks of David Beckham and Britney Spears -- past his prime in his chosen field by still at the top of the League of Great Train Wrecks. He is now, truly, famous for being famous.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Darwin Award true story: Wrong time, wrong place

The Darwin Awards were named in honour of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution. They commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it. Visit to read amazing stories of utter stupidity resulting in sterilization or death. Here's a sample, from the "Vintage" section.

Just over twenty years ago, in Washington state, a complete novice decided to start a life of crime with a daring daylight holdup. His inexperience showed in what turned out to be terminally stupid choices:

1. His target was H&J Leather & Firearms -- a gun shop.

2. The shop was full of customers -- firearms customers.

3. To enter the shop, the robber had to step around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door.

4. A uniformed officer was standing at the counter, having coffee before work.

Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup, and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, covered by several customers who also drew their guns, thereby removing the confused criminal from the gene pool.

No one else was hurt.

Got a better story than that? Visit the Darwin Awards website and pass it on.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

In the bonds of Death He lay
Who for our offence was slain;
But the Lord is risen to-day,
Christ hath brought us life again,
Wherefore let us all rejoice,
Singing loud, with cheerful voice,