Thursday, March 31, 2011
* Mr Koussa's official title was Foreign Minister. [But he is Libyan, right? How can he be "foreign minister"? Ed.] By that I mean minister in charge of foreign affairs. He is also thought to be responsible for the assassinations of several Libyan dissidents overseas, so...minister of death.
His defection reminds Walt of Rudolf Hess's flight to the UK in the middle of WWII. That didn't work out so well for Rudolf the Red-Nosed Nazi, so Walt wishes Mickey better luck.
Meanwhile, the President Hussein Obama's prolonged dither over Libya continues. Having handed the hot potato to NATO, he is now rumoured to have given a secret order authorizing covert operations in Libya.
If this is true, it's the second example in 24 hours of history repeating itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Didn't Vietnam begin with secret orders to take sides in the war between the French and the Vietminh? Next thing you know, the anti-Gadhafi "forces" will break their headlong retreat long enough to ask for American arms and "trainers". Oh wait... This just in...
TRAINERS WANTED - EXOTIC MEDITERRANEAN LOCATION Should be familiar with the manual of arms. Knowledge of Arabic helpful. Send name and address on a postcard to I WANT TO DIE, Washington, DC
Come to think of it, being an armed forces trainer in the middle of a shooting war should be a sure-fire plus for your résumé. If your guys go into battle and win, you'll be covered with glory. If they lose, you'll be covered with guts but at least they won't be clamouring to resit the test.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Whether it's Hussein's improved ratings or the distracting events overseas, the fight for the GOP nomination seems to be a long way from the opening bell. So far only one (1) candidate wannabe has pitched his fedora in the direction of the squared circle. That would be Tim "Timmy" Pawlenty, former governor of that staunchly Republic state, Minnesota.
All you need to know about Timmy is that he was touted for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket last time around, but was rejected by John McCain in favour of, errr, former Python Michael Palin. [Are you sure about this? Ed.]
In Walt's estimation (lifetime pct: .974), Mr Pawlenty has two chances of seeing his name at the top of the ticket. Possibly he is just promoting his book, Courage to Stand: An American Story. Amazon has it at 45% off the cover price. [Memo to Amazon: Send cheques, please. No more book tokens!]
If I had to put my money down with Jimmy the Greek this early in the game, I'dgo with Mitt Romney. Why? Because he's the one putative candidate we can be sure isn't Muslim! I'll give you the early line in September.
The 38-year-old victim was just a lean, mean procreating machine. He had no fewer than TEN (count `em, 10) children by SIX (6) different women. “It just seems senseless,” said Andrea Cuff, who has his 10-year-old son. “Ten kids without their dad now.”
Ayisha Spence, his current girlfriend and mother of two of the kids, told the Toronto Sun, “He was a great father.” Says Walt, certainly prolific, if nothing else.
Ms Cuff averred that the fact the six mothers of the ten children all get along is a testament to the wonderful man he was. The women notified each other of the horrific news and then all but one of them raced to the scene. The missing one is believed to have been detained at the welfare office while collecting cheques.
“We’re all baby mamas, but we all communicate with each other,” said "Jennifer", who has a daughter with the victim. “It don’t make no sense,” she said. “Everyone that knew him, loved him." So it would seem, says Walt. Except for this one last guy.
The victim's name is Clifenton Ford. Not known yet is the name of the major corporation of which Ford was CEO, nor how much support he was paying for his ten little bastards. What IS known is which "community" Mr Ford was part of. No prizes for guessing.
Oh. You can't guess? Mr Ford immigrated from Jamaica while in his 20s. Not being racist. Just calling a spade a spade.
Monday, March 28, 2011
While NATO has been busy starting another war, the invasion of Afghanistan continues. The latest Canadian casualty is Coporal Yannic Scherrer, of Montréal, who was killed yesterday by yet another IED (roadside bomb). He was 24.Walt wonders if NATO has an exit strategy for Libya. How long will our troops remain there? (I know. They're not on the ground there yet. Just wait.) How many "repatriation ceremonies" will begin in Tripoli?
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Here's the abstract of his article, whose final and definitive form was published in Vol. 88 of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
"Just because one has the right to vote does not mean just any vote is right. Citizens should not vote badly. This duty to avoid voting badly is grounded in a general duty not to engage in collectively harmful activities when the personal cost of restraint is low. Good governance is a public good. Bad governance is a public bad. We should not be contributing to public bads when the benefit to ourselves is low. Many democratic theorists agree that we shouldn't vote badly, but that's because they think we should vote well. This demands too much of citizens."
The Journal is not accessible online. However, you can find the "preprint" version by clicking here, then going to the second link under "Peer-Reviewed Articles".
Prof. Brennan first published his ideas in 2008, prior to the US presidential election, but the Journal version appeared in June 2009 ... too late. Walt hopes the article will be widely circulated in time to diminish the influence of the ignorant in future elections. But...
By definition, the uninformed people who "vote badly" will not read the article. Prof. Brown said in an interview today that he explained the concept to the most ignorant person he could find who admitted to having voted in the recent election. Sure enough, that person agreed that stupid people shouldn't vote.
What is to be done? Should those of us who know what's going on attempt to educate those who don't? Or should we just shoot them?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Two excerpts from Ms Wente's column are worth repeating here.
The war in Libya is a creation of the liberal intellectuals – just as the war in Iraq was a creation of the neo-conservatives.... Both groups are serenely convinced of their own moral rightness. Yet, the delusions of the R2P crowd aren’t all that different from the delusions of the neo-cons, who thought they could march into Iraq, decapitate the dictator, and help the cheering throngs embrace democracy. Has the past decade taught these people nothing? Evidently not.
Well said. But the one that really caught Walt's eye comes right at the end.
We have entered a new age – the age of humanitarian imperialism. Humanitarian imperialists are besotted with fantasies of the West’s inherent goodness. As American writer David Rieff puts it, they have promised that, from now on, all wars will be “noble wars of altruism.” To them, the facts on the ground don’t matter much. What really matters is their good intentions.
"Humanitarian imperialism". What a wonderfully descriptive oxymoron. And what a concept! This bears further discussion...
This morning, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen "Steve" Harper will ask the Governor-General to please allow the people to vote for him for the fourth time in seven years. This time, Mr Harpoon hopes, voters will give him a majority, allowing him to wrap his pudgy fingers around the levers of power for a full term, which in Canada means 4 years... or 5... or perhaps less... depending.
For Americans and others ignorant of affairs outside their own country, Canada's version of democracy is based on the British parliamentary "system". Churchill said it was the "worst form of government except all the others that have been tried".
Unlike in America, the Canadian cabinet (executive branch) have to be Members of Parliament. Technically they could be senators but in practice they all sit in the House of Commons. The government remains in office for up to four years, as long as it has the confidence of the House, meaning the votes of a majority of MPs.
Mr. Harpoon's government had a spot of trouble with this rule yesterday, when it lost a confidence vote in the House of Commons. For the first time in the history of Canada -- or any Commonwealth country -- the government was found in contempt of Parliament.
It is something of a Canadian tradition for governments to be contemptuous of Parliament and its ordinary members. Pierre Trudeau famously called MP's "nobodies". But M. Trudeau smiled when he said it, whereas Harper's face is frozen in this cat-that-ate-the-canary smirk.
Walt hasn't actually read yesterday's Hansard, but heard that Harper was asked "Are you trying to show your contempt for this House?", and answered, "No. I'm doing my very best to disguise it."
Whether or not this is an accurate quote, the opposition parties reacted like the fly on the edge of the toilet bowl* and united -- for once -- to vote for a resolution that the House had no confidence in the government, thus applying the parliamentary boot to Harpoon's massive derrière.
The beneficiary, oddly enough, may be the same Steve Harper and his Mildly Conservative party. Recent polls suggest voters might give him the majority of which he has nightly wet dreams, if only to avoid having to return to the polls in another 18 months or so. Walt will give you his prediction in about a month's time. (Lifetime pct: .974)
* They were pissed off.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
In Canada, last month, a super-PC bill sponsored by a pinkish MP, was passed by the House of Commons and sent to the Senate. Bill C-389 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect the rights of transgender or transsexual citizens. It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” or “gender expression” in the workplace or elsewhere, and would amend the Criminal Code so that crimes committed against people because they are transgender or transsexual would be treated as hate crime.
Because it is a private member’s bill, C-389 should have had little chance of clearing the House of Commons. But On February 10th, MPs from all parties, in a display of united hypocrisy rare even for Canada, rallied behind the legislation, which passed by the narrow vote of 143 to 135. The bill is now before the Senate, where it will likely die when the government falls on Friday. (Lifetime pct: .973)
Which brings us to Joe Hvilivitsky, a member of the Niagara Falls (Canada) Review's Community Editorial Board. Mr. H. (as he shall hereinafter be known) had the temerity to suggest in his column that the "bathroom bill", as he called it, should not pass. He also argued that the MPs' vote in favour did not reflect the wishes of the majority of Canadians. Here's the most telling bit of his article.
As is so often the case when we attempt to create rights to accommodate the needs of a few, it is accomplished at the expense of the majority. In this case, we're saying that the rights of a minuscule number of disordered people trump those of females whose dignity and modesty could be compromised by being forced to share space with a "woman" still in possession of male equipment.
Mr. H. was referring to the fact that if the Human Rights Act were amended as C-389 proposes, it would be against the law to deny a transgendered or otherwise not-originally-female person access to ladies' restrooms. To Mr. H. (as to Walt) this is unthinkable, but LGBT activists hail C-389 as "a great victory for the trans community," citing discrimination faced by "trans men and trans women" [not "trannies" any more? Ed.] in jobs, housing and "just being out in a social setting."
Well, you should have seen the outcry against Mr. H. If you click on the link to the article, you'll find just one comment supporting his argument. By contrast, there are five hissy fits from Friends of Fudgepackers accusing Mr. H. of "fear-mongering" and "inducing hysteria".
Since when was it forbidden to speak out in opposition to the current moral disorder? This question was posed this week at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the delegate of the Holy See.
Archbishop Tomasi argued that respect for fundamental human rights should not be used as a pretext for forcing public acceptance of homosexual activity.
The prelate condemned “all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviours.” But he also urged the UN to recognize a “disturbing trend” toward intolerance of those who express moral opposition to homosexual behavior. Like Mr. H.
"People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex," said the archbishop. Those who voice opposition to homosexual acts can be stigmatized, harassed, and even prosecuted, he added. "These attacks are violations of fundamental human rights and cannot be justified under any circumstances."
Archbishop Tomasi insisted on a distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual activity. “A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings,” he said. “But states can, and must, regulate behaviors, including various sexual behaviors.”
For a more complete report on the archbishop's address, click here to read "Vatican addresses UN debate on sexual orientation", from Vatican Radio.
There are countries like that too, states that start off well enough, then spiral downward in search of rock bottom. Zimbabwe would be a prime example.
This week the Economist features a thoughtful essay on failed states, "Where life is cheap and talk is loose". "States that cannot control their territories, protect their citizens, enter or execute agreements with outsiders, or administer justice," it says, "are a common and worsening phenomenon".
The article has a list of the worst of the worst -- the states with the highest scores on the Failed States Index. Here, with a further comment by yours truly, are the dirtiest dozen black spots.
Country (FSI score*) -- PC problems** -- Non-PC problems***
12. Côte d'Ivoire (101.2) -- post-election deadlock, civil war starting -- African, Muslims vs Christians
11. Haiti (101.6) -- deforestation, destitution, crime -- only African country in the west
10. Pakistan (102.5) -- coups, drugs, illiteracy, terrorism -- Muslim
9. Guinea (105.0) -- destitution, drugs, kleptocracy -- African
8. Central African Republic (106.4) -- desertification, destitution, disease, terrorism -- African
7. Iraq (107.3) -- ruined infrastructure, terrorism -- Muslims vs other Muslims
6. Afghanistan (109.3) -- civil war, drugs, no infrastructure, terrorism -- Muslims vs other Muslims
5. Congo (109.9) -- civil war, massacres, mass rape, looting -- African
4. Zimbabwe (110.2) -- post-election deadlock, economic collapse, kleptocracy, oppression -- African
3. Sudan (111.8) -- illiteracy, tyranny, destitution -- African, Muslims vs Christians
2. Chad (113.3) -- desertification, destitution, next door to Libya -- African, more Muslims
and now... the envelope please...
1. Somalia (114.3) -- anarchy, civil war, piracy -- African, Muslim
I was going to add corruption and incompetence to the list of problems, where applicable, but it applied to every single country on the list and I grew tired of typing the words over and over.
Surely I don't need to point out the commonalities, but just in case... 8 of the failed states (including the worst 5) are in Africa. And we must count Haiti as an African state because almost 100% of its people are of African origin.
7 of 12 are totally or partially Muslim. In Côte d'Ivoire and Sudan, the Muslims fight to dominate the Christians. In places like Iraq, where there are almost no Christians left to persecute, the Muslims fight with each other.
One final point. Almost all of these failed states would also appear on a list of top recipients of western foreign aid. That's how smart our governments are -- not enough sense to stop pouring sand down black, Muslim ratholes.
* Failed states score, out of 120
** Politically correct problems, as listed by the Economist
*** Non-PC problems which everyone knows about but no-one talks about, as listed by Walt.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Nothing deterred, the American humourist and anglophile now presents At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Doubleday 2010). Mr. Bryson lives in a Victorian rectory in Norfolk, England. He takes us on a guided tour of the house and garden, pausing in each room to discourse on whatever subject the name of the room calls to his fertile mind.
For instance, in the dining room the author speaks of food, diet and the changes in people's eating habits over the centuries. The bathroom provokes a history of hygiene, or lack thereof. And the bedroom suggests sex, sleep and death.
What we get here is not just studies (perhaps too serious a word) in history, but archaeology, sociology and a generous helping of biography too. It would be hard to write about English scientists, inventors and architects without revealing some of the eccentricities for which the English are famous.*
The compendium which results from Mr. Bryson's curiosity and love of trivia is considerably more pleasing than A Short History of Nearly Everything. At Home makes clear the connection between what happens in the world at large and the structure and content of our houses, from wall to wall and from basement to attic.
At Home is not laugh-out-loud funny, like some of Bryson's travel writing, but it is far from being the dull academic tome the sub-title suggests. Walt recommends it highly.
* Walt can't resist giving one example. Bryson relates the stinginess of an 18th-century Duke of Marlborough, who was so parsimonious that, when writing, he refused to dot his i's, to save ink!
In today's Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente poses a plethora of good questions, such as:
- What is our objective?
- Are we fighting to protect the Libyan population from the government, or are we fighting for régime change?
- What if air strikes don’t knock out the bad guys and they keep on killing people anyway?
- What national interest do we have in this war?
- Who takes the lead role when the US steps down?
- Who says Libya’s rebels are the good guys?
- What happens if (as seems likely) there are no good guys?
Making himself clear, as always, Obama says this war is “a chance to align our values with our interests.” For others, it's a risky decision to insert ourselves into a tribal society we don’t understand. Haven’t we done enough of that already?
As General David Petraeus said of Afghanistan, “Tell me how this ends.”
Footnote: Whatever happened to The Sixty-four Dollar Question? I can't seem to find it on my radio any more.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Here, from Bill Bryson's latest book, At Home, are two rodent-related factoids about which you can think when your mind is otherwise empty.
Do you have mice in your house? Many of us do. Did you know that every mouse excretes about fifty (50) fecal pellets per day? Not just in houses, but in food storage areas and places where food is processed.
Because of the impossibility of achieving perfection in storage, hygiene regulations in most places allow up to two mouse turds per pint of grain. Bear that in mind next time you bite into a slice of whole grain bread.
How about rats? Rats are more common in and around our houses than we would like to think. Even the best homes sometimes have them. One of the two most common varieties in our part of the world is rattus rattus, known to us as the "roof rat".
Why do you suppose rattus rattus is called what it is called? Because it likes to be up high, in places like trees ... and attics. As you lie in bed late at night, listening to the pitter patter of little feet across your bedroom ceiling, think about what it might be. A mouse? Hmmm... maybe....
Walt's review of At Home will appear soon. Watch this space.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Vice-Admiral "Duck" Bill Gortney told reporters in Tripoli [errr... possibly Washington. Ed.] that Western strikes on Libyan air defenses over the past two days had crippled our former friend’s capability to launch airplanes and detect foreign aircraft.
“We judge these strikes to have been very effective in significantly degrading the regime’s air defence capability,” Gortney said. He is thought to have meant that the Libyans are huddling in bunkers washing out their underwear, and are therefore looking down, not up.
Meanwhile, Colonel Gadfly has appeared on TV to say he's a damn sight tougher than Obama Hussein [Saddam Hussein, surely! Ed.], so won't be bleaching the green flag white anytime soon.
Walt is reminded of Dubya's famous "mission accomplished" speech on Mayday [not May Day? Ed.] 2003. It wasn't until the end of October of that year that the White House acknowledged its embarrassment. Walt stands by his prediction.
Footnote: The use of "Mayday" as a one-word plea for help comes from the French "M'aidez!", meaning "Help me!" You're welcome.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The article begins thus: Looters took to the streets after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in 2005, and again when Haiti was rocked by a powerful earthquake in 2010. So what is preventing disaster-stricken Japan from descending into a similar state of lawlessness?
Is this another rhetorical question? Lang shies away from discussing the question of race. Instead he quotes Thomas Lifson, a former professor of Asian Studies at Harvard, on "the unique qualities of the Japanese psyche".
"The sense of community is very powerful in Japan and is maintained not just on the basis of the culture, which is still very strong, but also on the basis of various social, political and geographic realities."
There can be no doubt that Japan is virtually homogeneous society. That is, it's not multicultural. Those aggressively promoting multiculturalism and "diversity" in the west might do well to think about that.
There is another factor of which there can be no doubt, but which political correctness forbids us from discussing. Except for Walt. I'll say it directly this time. The victims of last week's earthquake and tsunami were Asian. The victims of the Haitian earthquake were black.
Haiti, Katrina, Watts, Detroit, today's Ivory Coast... In black communities rioting and looting follow political demonstrations or natural disaster -- any provocation at all -- as surely as night follows day. What conclusion can be drawn, other than that looting and lawlessness are the nature of the beast. Answers on the back of a postage stamp, please.
Her warning comes in the wake of a study by international health experts projecting that the number of women in India will be 20% less than the population of men by the year 2030. And what's the reason for this? A heavy prejudice against female children. Paying the dowry to get daughters married off is so expensive these days! So what's the answer? Sex-selection abortions -- the killing of female babies.
It is significant that Ms Patil chose to make her plea at a convention in Chandigarh, the capital of both the Haryana and Punjab states, in which several regions have already reported that there are only 800 girl babies born each year for every 1,000 boys. Even the ZPG advocates should be able to see the democgraphic disaster in the offing.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Well, that's the way Homer pronounces it, but even he knows that's not right. His better-educated and better-spoken boss, C. Montgomery Burns, knows it's the NUCLEAR power plant.
What's bothering me is the apparent inability of people in the media to pronounce correctly several English words of more than one syllable. "Nuculer" is at the top of Walt's fecal roster. IT'S NOT "NUCULER", you morons! It's "NUCLEAR".
Let's practise. The root word is the Latin -- now English -- nucleus. NU as in "gnu"; CLE as in "clear"; and US as in "anus". NU-CLE-US.
Now, to form the adjective, change the last syllable to AR as in "are". NU-CLE-AR. How hard could it be?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
In America, the bishop writes, the oldest democracy with a written constitution in the world, there is a movement of the ruling class toward taking more and more power into its own hands. This, he says, is a curious irony at this time, when people all over the Middle east are fighting for change from dictatorship to democracy.
The prime example to which the bishop points is the hot-button issue of our day: gay marriage.
"When the City Council of Washington, DC, passed a local ordinance to allow same-sex ‘marriage,’ the citizens organized to put it to a vote so they could decide for themselves," the bishop states. "The City Council obstructed them from doing so every step of the way. Bear in mind that the city of Washington has a very large African-American population.
"Thus … a small group of political elites (almost all of them white), in a claim to expand rights, deny one of the most fundamental rights in a constitutional democracy — the right to vote — to the masses of black citizens."
Later in the article, Bishop Cordileone makes what Walt considers an irrefutable argument. Wherever “gay marriage” has become the law of the land, he says, it has happened in a way that avoids the democratic process, and sometimes even goes directly against it.
On the other hand, whenever the people have had the chance to vote on the issue, they have consistently affirmed the traditional view of marriage -- a union between a man and a woman. And this, despite the proponents of true marriage being outspent (sometimes by huge margins), and facing opposition from the "cultural elites" and the bias of the lamestream media.
Bishop Cordileone's argument is worth reading in its entirety. Click here to do so.
One can't help but be impressed by the calmness, verging on stoicism, being shown by the Japanese in the face of a calamity which to us is barely imaginable. The Japanese have seen worse, of course -- the devastation of their country in the last days of World War II, and ultimately Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Perhaps this has given them the collective strength to endure.
Looking at the videos of the survivors, I see sorrow and anguish, but I don't see hysteria. I see people queuing patiently to get their share of the limited food and water. I don't see people looting or fighting like dogs snarling over scraps.
I see supplies and machinery being distributed to people who, even though it's not their job, are pitching in to do whatever they can to clean up the debris and start making their city habitable again. In Haiti, meanwhile, grass is starting to grow into the engine compartments of motor vehicles sent there a year ago, because the Haitian "authorities" demand payment of "customs duties" before the machinery can be moved off the dockside.
And I see the Japanese doing all they can -- themselves -- rather than sitting on their collective ass waiting for boatloads of foreign aid to arrive, along with foreigners to do everything for them. The Japanese will recover and rebuild, just as they did after WWII...themselves.
A couple of days ago, CNN's Jack Cafferty posed the question, "Why hasn't there been widespread looting and crime after the [Japanese] earthquake?" No answer was forthcoming. Perhaps it was a rhetorical question.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Could it be that the Western powers (USA), former powers (UK) and wannabe powers (Canada) have finally realized that western concepts of freedom, democracy and human rights are not always applicable to other societies and other cultures?
In the last century, two Great Wars and a number of not-so-great wars have been fought -- are being fought still -- in the name of democracy etc. etc. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan -- those were all about democracy, right? And do the countries in and over whose land the wars were fought enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy today?
As for Libya, be it remembered that the Marines first landed on the shores of Tripoli over two hundred years ago. That was during the little-remembered First Barbary Coast War. You can look it up. And have the Libyans been stampeding to the polls to exercise their democractic rights in the 205 years since then? Errr... no.
For over two centuries US forces have fought to preserve popular and representative governments in such bastions of democracy as Mexico (the Halls of Montezuma), Cuba ("Remember the Maine!"), and the Philippines ("Remember the Maine...again!").
According to S.L.A. Marshall's history of the Great War, about 10,000,000 men and women were killed -- allies and enemies counted together in death. More than 6,000,000 were crippled or invalided for life. The illusion was that all of humanity would profit by the great lesson. But did it?
To answer the question, consider the last verse of Willie McBride, sometimes known as No Man's Land, a ballad reflecting on the reality of fighting for freedom and democracy...
And I can't help but wonder now, William McBride,
Do all those who lie here know just why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing the dying, was all done in vain
For Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again and again and again and again.
Monday, March 14, 2011
But in Dayton OH, already low standards for admission to the local constabulary are being dumbed down still further, by order of the US Department of Justice. Why? Because the feds reckon not enough African-Americans were getting through the exam. No surprises there.
ABC's Dayton TV outlet reports that the Dayton P.D. is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. However, the hiring process was postponed for months because the Deptartment of Justice rejected the original test scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board.
Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two. The new politically correct scoring policy only requires potential thugs [police officers, surely! Ed.] to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.
Click here to see the video on the ABC Dayton website. Thanks to Agent 17 for passing on this story.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The Mad Colonel has firm control of the military and its plentiful weapons, stockpiled over the years for just such an occasion. The rebels have plenty of nuttin'. Have you seen them on TV? They're riding around in pickup trucks! (Nice red, black and green paint jobs, though.) Gadhafi is calling in air strikes while the rebels are bargaining with Omar's Rent-a-Cessna.
What the rebels need, evidently, is military support from Outside...meaning the West. And they're not going to get it. There's been lots of tut-tutting and cluck-clucking, and a few Western planes and troops have been inside the desert kingdom, but not a shot has been fired in anger from any Western gun.
Why are the western nations so reluctant to get involved? Let's talk about the Big Three.
The French have memories of a long and nasty civil war in Algeria, which ended in defeat for the French and the migration of 1000s of "pieds noirs" to metropolitan France, where they have bred like rabbits and generally made themselves a pain in the derrière to this day. So all the French have done, thus far, is to "recognize" the provisional government at Benghazi. "Allo, la Libye! La France vous reconnait!" Bonne chance avec ça.
The British also remember glorious battles in the wasteland that is Libya. Tobruk, El Alamein... Montgomery, dontcha know. Having been denied another go at the time of the Suez crisis, they would dearly love to do a repeat and have been the most strident in calling for a no-fly zone. But the Brits are already overstretched further east in Afghanistan, and they're running short of troops, arms and (especially) money. The spirit is willing but the pound is weak.
American hemming and hawing is harder to figure out. Walt figures the US reluctance has less to do with cowardice than with political correctness. Having American planes and American soldiers beating up still more dusty Arab towns... the optics just aren't right. And of course there's always the possibility of "mission creep". There'd be all that nasty talk about "another Vietnam" (or Iraq or Afghanistan. Ed.)
What other reason could there be? You don't believe that stuff about the President being a Muslim do you? Well? Do you?! Hussein Obama? Naaaahhh.
So the long and short of it is, we're going to see a repeat of Hungary, 1956, or the Prague spring of 1968. The West will be vociferous and unanimous in its condemnation of the crushing of the protest/rebellion/revolution/whatever, but will do nothing while the protesters/rebels/revolutionaries/whatever are being sent to the Muslim heaven.
You read it here first. Lifetime average: .973.
Friday, March 11, 2011
She was spared from death only through the protests of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, both martyred just a few days ago, and a few other brave souls who dared to stand up for their faith and for religious freedom against Muslim extremists bound on exterminating all Christians.
Now Ms Bibi -- who is still facing a sentence of death -- has given an interview in which she speaks of her "pain and concern" following the death of Mr Bhatti, a Catholic cabinet minister who had sought to amend the blasphemy laws.
In the article on the UCANews website, Ms Bibi says she is still afraid that she could be the next target of violent Islamic groups. Posters have appeared inside the jail showing images of Taseer and Bhatti with a large question mark and the threatening phrase “Who will be next?”
Although the Pakistani government has been under pressure to show clemency in her case, Muslim militants have announced that they will kill her if she is freed. They are reportedly planning a "million Muslim march" in support of the anti-Christian blasphemy laws. Click here for details from Winds of Jihad.
According to her lawyer, Ms Bibi says that part of her hope died with Bhatti, but there are other things that give her hope: visits from her children, and the support of all Christians in Pakistan and around the world.
Please keep Asia Bibi and all Christians persecuted in Muslim countries -- not forgetting "secular" India -- in your prayers.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The hittee, Max Pacioretty, has a fractured C-4 vertebra and a severe concussion. Thanks be to God, the vertebra didn't fracture in such a way as to damage the spinal cord. Maxpac is able to move his arms and legs. He's lucky to be alive.
The NHL had a "hearing" by teleconference yesterday afternoon and decided that the hitman, Zdeno Chara, had done nothing wrong, and didn't really deserve the major penalty he got, let alone a fine or a suspension. He didn't hit Max in the head you see, only the arms and shoulders. So that's all right, then.
Meanwhile, the Montréal police switchboard has been flooded with complaints, and the Québec Director of Public Prosecutions has today ordered an investigation. That doesn't mean criminal charges will be laid, but it's a possibility.
Latest news is that Air Canada, one of the NHL's key sponsors, has threatened to withdraw its sponsorship and the potful o' loonies that go with it, unless the NHL does something to curb hockey violence. Which is like asking a paedophile to give up his predilection for luring little boys into his parlour. Good luck with that.
Although most of the troops now in Kandahar are American, the Dand district, where the shooting occurred, is under Canadian command. This raises the suspicion that the shooting might have been an accident.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Deputy Puppet who heads of Kandahar provincial council, says the shooting was "a mistake". As readers might guess from his name, Ahmed Wali is related to Hamid. In fact, he's the Prez's brother. Karzai name, Krazai family! But there's one less of them now!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Readers who know Canada's younger national sport also know that it's a violent sport. I'm not just talking about the fighting which is part of the game, but about the fact that you have 10 six-footers weighing around 200 pounds hurtling around an 85' by 200' rink. Collisions are bound to occur. They're supposed to occur.
The defensive side of the game comes down to stopping an opposing player who is advancing towards your goal with the puck. If you don't, he might score. So what you do is hit him. That's what you're supposed to do.
However, there are right ways and wrong ways to stop the opposing player in his tracks. This is the wrong way.
The commentary comes from NESN. You'll hear the announcer with the Back Bay accent say that Chara -- all 6'7" of him -- was just doing his job, and didn't deserve even a 5-minute penalty. Walt calls BULLSHIT!
Zdeno Chara is an experienced player. He's also huge. He towers over all the others on the Big Bad Bruins, and the rest of the NHL. He should be aware of his own size and strength. He should also have been aware of his position on the ice, and that of Max Pacioretty, the object of his really dirty hit from behind.
Montréal's La Presse has called for a criminal investigation, which would focus on Chara's intention. If it were found that he intended to rub Pacioretty out on the boards -- which is certainly how it appears -- criminal charges might follow. It's not normal for the law to get involved in what happens on the ice, but there are precedents.
The NESN apologists for Chara are saying he didn't mean to do it. If that's so, all Chara had to do was turn away. Pacioretty wasn't about to bang his head into the stanchion just to see what it felt like. Walt thinks Chara did the crime and deserves punishment -- if not in the Québec criminal courts, at least by the NHL. A hefty fine and suspension for the balance of the season and the playoffs should be about right.
Over to you, Don Cherry.
Update (and sigh of relief): Maxpac is reported to be awake, alert and able to move his arms and legs. He could have been killed...
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Obviously the question calls for an audio response. But here on the Inner Net audio without video is ... well ... unthinkable. I mean, it would be OK for Walt's blind readers, but ... errr ...
You get the picture. If not, here's the picture now, to go with the music.
Give it up for multiple Grammy winner, the polka king, St. Catharines' own Walter Ostanek! Say, folks, doesn't that bring back memories? Buffalo TV stations used to have live "polka party" shows every weekend! Yep, sandwiched in between the live bowling shows. Ah, those were the days.
Yes, Walt would definitely put some polkas on the playlist, along with some nice waltzes, and maybe the odd obarek. That would go a long way to satisfying the CBC's demand for multiculturalism too, eh.
Prefer some real down-home American music?
Stanley & Co. from beautiful downtown Townley, AL. Folks, that's what you call gospel bluegrass. When was the last time you heard anything like that on your effete big city rangdeedio? Got the "religious right" base covered too.
If you liked that -- and why wouldn't you? -- you'll find dozens of homespun versions of that fine old gospel song on YouTube. Just Google "I'll Fly Away".
Want to have some fun? Mix yourself up a CD of that kind of music -- the music of the silent majority -- and be silent no longer! Plug the CD in your car stereo, turn the volume up to "deafen" and drive through the `hood.
Don't stop. Have fun.
Footnote: This is post number 700. Had enough yet? Send an e-mail with "More!" or "No more!" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. The wishes of the majority will be respected. Or maybe not... like the CBC!
Monday, March 7, 2011
Many western eyebrows were raised and faces reddened last week wheN it was revealed that nine Afghan boys had been killed by NATO helicopters -- by mistake, of course. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates described their deaths as a "setback".
"Not only is their loss a tragedy for their families, it is a setback for our relationship with the Afghan people," he told a media conference in Kabul.
Mr. Gates was on an unannounced trip to assess security progress. He did not reveal his assessment, but repeated Washington's apology for the killing of the boys, which has increased strain on an already testy relationship with Afghan President Karzai.
The Puppet-in-Chief had earlier rejected a surprisingly candid apology by General David Petraeus, commander of the ISAF. [Please check. Typo for "USAF"? Ed.] "It may be a setback to you," growled the Afghan prez, "but not nearly so much as it was to those kids!"
Said Joshua Foust, a fellow at the American Security Project, "There is legitimate and growing anger within Afghanistan over ISAF-caused deaths."
However, Major General John Campbell, ISAF commander in the east, said 90 percent of civilian casualties in his area were caused by insurgents. So that's all right, then.
Walt to Ed.: OK, I checked. ISAF stands for "International Setback Amelioration Force".
Ed. to Walt: Check again.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
You're welcome to complain to me, but the person who should really be getting your irate comments is Susan Marjetti -- wrong identified as Susan Marjerine in the previous post -- who is Managing Director of Local Programming at CBC Toronto. Her phone number is 416-205-5791. You'll find an e-mail link here. Or you can write by snail mail to: Susan Marjetti, CBC Toronto, P.O. Box 500, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6.
When calling or writing, try to be polite and not use any politically incorrect language. I'm not sure you're even allowed to say "black". What you might do, though, is remind Ms Marjetti that whites have rights too!
Hey... that's not a bad slogan! WHITE HAVE RIGHTS TOO! Wonder if any politician or party will have the cojones to adopt it. You're welcome.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Which brings me to the subject of ballpoint pens. Remember when pens were slim and trim, like this Bic model? Such pens came standard in offices and schools a generation or two ago. You bought them in boxes of a dozen and they were used by people with slim fingers and trim figures who had no trouble holding onto them.
Now pens look like this. Occasionally I get invited to a meeting or conference at which pens are given away, and of late they all seem to have a kind of bulbous, hourglass look. I've been thinking about it [You need to get out more! Ed.] and have come up with two possible explanations for this phenomenon.
One is that the curvier pens are designed that way to appeal to men who like to run their fingers along the smooth, undulating, cool metal surfaces, imagining that [I'm cutting the rest of this paragraph for reasons of space. Ed.]
The other is that fatter people have fatter fingers. They can no longer hang onto the slimline pens of yesteryear with the little cocktail sausages at the ends of their hands. Pretty soon, rather than attempting to grasp the pen with two fingers, you'll see people curling their hammy fists around it, so as to be able to make an "X" on their credit card slips. Welcome to 21st-century America.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The secretary-general of Iran's National Olympic Committee, Bahram Afsharzadeh, says he sent a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge in which he condemns the logo as "racist" and calls upon other Muslim countries to join in protest.
The logo was unveiled four years ago to mass criticism, almost all of which had to do with the awkward, bulky design and not pro-Zionist conspiracy. I can't see the problem, but I read from left to right, top to bottom. Probably I'm missing something.
I wrote "Well, they didn't get Mr. Bhatti...yet". Turns out it took less than two months for the fatwa issued against Mr. Bhatti to be carried out.
Associated Press reported today that "assailants purportedly sent by al-Qaeda and the Taliban" sprayed his car with bullets outside his parents' driveway, killing him instantly.
It was the second assassination in two months of a high-profile opponent of blasphemy laws that impose the death penalty for insulting Islam. The first was Salman Taseer, on whose assassination Walt was commenting in the first article.
Dogs which are surplus to requirements will presumably be eaten. [Tastes kind of like rabbit. Ed.]
Reporting the story, the Economist writes "Owners of the city's many unlicensed pooches insisted the local authorities were hounding them."
I wish I'd said that!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Well, Virginia's legislature has just passed a bill that will impose new safety standards on abortion clinics. And guess what? Abortion advocates are screaming that the legislation will force most of the state's abortuaries out of business!
The bill requires abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as hospitals. Nothing wrong with that, surely. After all, abortion providers have always been concerned about safety standards, right?
Turns out most of Virginia's existing abortion clinics do not currently have the equipment, staff, and facilities necessary to respond adequately to emergencies that could arise. An Associated Press account, generally biased in favour of the abortionists, observes that "the clinics resemble dentists' offices."
"Democrats and abortion-rights supporters said the change would put an estimated 17 of the 21 clinics out of business," the AP story reports. The abortion advocates evidently considered this a criticism of the new bill, rather than a reflection on substandard conditions in abortion clinics. But what does this reveal about their true motives?
Yes, killing babies is a business, and a good one too if you don't have to spend too much on safety.