Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Middle East madness

For the tiny percentage of you who care what's happening over in the sandpit, here's today's news, in four parts.

Item: South African President Jacob Zuma -- the one with four or five wives, who takes showers to avoid getting HIV/AIDS -- has been on a mission to Libya to persuade Brother Gadhafi to stop fiddling while Tripoli burns. In other words, to go while the going's good. It is rumoured that Zuma offered Gadhafi asylum in Comrade Bob Mugabe's Zimbabwe, where he could join former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu in luxurious exile. Gadhafi's answer? "Hell no! I won't go!"

Item: Yemen is a country where houses are built tall, not wide, so the contents of the alleged toilets can run down the outside walls and dry in the hot desert sun. Civil war has been imminent for weeks, and looks more so today, as the off-again on-again truce between President Saleh and groups of desert tribesmen has gone off again.

Last week, fighting between members of the powerful Hashed tribe -- mounted on camels and armed with scimitars and muskets -- and Saleh's security forces widened to areas outside the capital. Saleh's elite Republican Guard is armed with machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, so the morning line makes the tribal types a long shot.

Item: Afghanistan's alleged president, Hamid Karzai -- krazai name, krazai guy! -- warned NATO-led forces in the armpit of the world that they risk being seen as an occupying force rather than an ally. Wow! Stop the presses!

The prez, wearing his trademark Afghan hat [what else? Ed.] despite 100-degree heat, said NATO's killing of civilians had to stop or he would take unspecified "action". Like leaving the country to join Gadhafi somewhere? Highly unlikely. Lifetime pct: .976

And finally: As Karzai spoke, so did Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harpoon, who called the Canucks' mission "in general a success" and proclaimed Afghanistan "no longer a threat to the world". Which begs the question of why the USA and a few other members of the coalition of the allegly willing are staying there after the Canadians leave.

Walt nominates Harper for the Brass Neck Award [or similar. Ed.]. How he can stand, clad in khakis and the new "Peter Mackay" model flak-catcher and lie to his troops -- 156 of whom have died in the Afghani dust and dirt -- mystifies me. And the Canadian soldiers know they're being lied to, yet they listen politely and refrain from booing or fragging their dear leader. Canadian politeness, I guess!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Bombardier Karl Manning, RIP

The 156th Canadian to die in the Afghanistan war was Bombardier Karl Manning, of Chicoutimi, Québec. He was an artillery soldier and radar operator, who spent the better part of a nearly completed tour at a remote base amid the desolate hard scrub villages of western Panjwaii.

Panjwaii is just another Afghan sandpit, a stark, hostile place that for years was a Taliban sanctuary. The Canadian battle group, led by the 1st Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment -- the famous "Van Doos" -- pushed into the area last December.

Manning's body was discovered by fellow soldiers at the outpost in the Zangabad area on Friday. Brigadier-General Dean Milner, officer commanding, said "While an investigation is still ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding his death, foul play and enemy action have been ruled out."

That is the military way of saying Bombardier Manning took his own life. He was the fourth Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan to do so. His reasons will likely never be known.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Racist jury convicted me, says Johnson

In "You doesn't have to call me Johnson", Walt told you about a Ugandan gentleman who can now expect to spend the rest of his life in a Canadian prison, by dint of having knowingly infected several women with the HIV/AIDS virus. Two of them died, thus Johnsan Aziga was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree.

Contrary to the will of a significant portion of its citizenry, Canada has no death penalty. It doesn't even have "life means the rest of your natural life". The worst sentence you can get is life without parole for 25 years. Since Mr. Aziga is 54, that would make him -- let's see -- pretty close to 80 by the time he gets out, if he gets out.

However, the folks who run the Canadian justice system [Is dis a system? Mr. Natural], being Canadian, want to take no chances on Johnson being able to do it again. [At 80??!! Ed.] So they have applied to have Mr. A declared a dangerous offender, which means he could be held "at Her Majesty's pleasure", which means forever.

A trial is progressing, slowly. As Walt told you on May 10th, a shrink put the murderer's problems down to a complex related to his being shy about an undescended testicle. Johnson Aziga had a different explanation.

On the stand on Friday, he admitted he is guilty of aggravated sexual assault because he failed to telling the women he was HIV positive before having unsafe sex with them. But, he went on, he shouldn't have been convicted of murder because while he exposed them to HIV, he doesn't believe he was definitely the source of their infections.

Then Mr. Aziga, who is black, played his ace in the hole. The jury found him guilty of the two murder counts, he said, because -- unlike his girlfriends -- they were biased and racist.

In Canada? Say it ain't so, Johnson!

Footnote: Racism works in many ways. It is not unknown for black men to boast about how many white women they've been able to bed and impregnate. Keeping score on a racial basis, as it were. Or just getting even for the centuries of abuse and oppression that the evil whites have heaped on the poor, downtrodden blacks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Spearchucker": more than just a racial slur

Those who think that people are pretty much the same the world over, even in darkest Africa, may find the following story interesting...or at least a bit unsettling. It's taken from the May 25th online edition of the Zimbabwean paper NewsDay. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent or the not-so-innocent.

A suspected thief from Magunje shocked the small rural village when he stabbed and killed a neighbourhood watch committee member with a spear before setting fire to his own father’s thatched hut, accusing his dad of snitching on him.

Jealous Tomase allegedly stabbed Wellington Beremauro in the stomach with a spear and, for good measure, struck him several times on the head with an iron bar, killing him instantly.

The state prosecutor alleges that on the fateful day, Beremauro and his colleagues, Never Chitsato and Pascal Zvikonyaniswa, were executing their duties as neighbourhood watch members when they went to Tomasi’s homestead, searching for stolen property. Upon seeing the local law enforcement agents, Tomasi allegedly took to his heels and disappeared for a while.

The neighbourhood watch team proceeded to conduct a search and recovered the stolen property which they took to Tomasi’s father’s homestead for recording. Unbeknownst to them, that was the very place in which Tomasi had sought refuge. He allegedly appeared from behind a kitchen, armed with two spears and an axe.

Tomasi allegedly threw the spear striking Beremauro in the stomach knocking him down. He allegedly proceeded to strike him several times with an iron bar.

As if that was not enough, Tomasi is also alleged to have set on fire his father’s huts, accusing him of selling him out to the neghbourhood watch team. He appeared before High Court judge Justice Samuel Kudya last Monday, facing a charge of murder. The state apparently decided to proceed only on the murder charge, as it seemed there'd already been enough arson around.

Tomasi pled not guilty but his efforts to defend himself were thwarted when his father Victor Tomasi, testified against him. The accused’s father said he personally witnessed Beremauro being speared in the stomach by his son. At that point dad ran away, returning later only to discover his huts had been torched. The trial continues this week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mainstream thinking on abortion

For years now -- make that decades -- the lamestream media have been telling us that the majority of modern, progressive people are "pro-choice". That means, we are told, that it's up to a pregnant woman to decide for herself if she wants to keep her child or kill it. That's not the way the media present it, of course, but that's what it means to be "pro-choice".

Thus, the past week saw considerable consternation in the ranks of the pro-abortion lobbyists and other progressive and right-thinking wimmin. The cause of the consternation? The release of the Gallup Poll's annual Values and Beliefs Survey. Hard as the sisters find it to believe, 72% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal under most circumstances.

The Gallup figures show that 49% of Americans label themselves "pro-choice" while 45% are "pro-life". As the first graph shows, those figures have see-sawed back and forth, but still been roughly even, for several years. For most of 2009-10, the "pro-life" numbers were slightly higher, with a reversal occurring late last year.

However, the more significant graph -- and the most disturbing to the baby-killers -- is the second one. It shows clearly that most Americans do not favour abortion. 51% of those surveyed said that abortion is "morally wrong". Only 39% said that what is euphemistically called "the procedure" is "morally acceptable".

One could infer that many of those polled want to have it both ways. Perhaps they see no contradiction in supporting a woman's "right to choose" while at the same time saying they would not make that choice -- to abort an unwanted child -- for themselves.

The third graph deals with the legality of abortion. 72% said that abortion should be illegal either in all (22%) or in some (50%) circumstances. If you do the math, those figures must include at least some of the 49% who identified themselves as "pro-choice".

The fourth question tried to be more specific. What do you understand by "some circumstances", it asked. 61% of responders said it should be only a few (as opposed to "most") circumstances. The results indicate clear and growing support for measures to end the current policy of unrestricted legal abortion on demand.

The Gallup figures show that American opinion on the morality and legality of abortion remains sharply divided. But -- and this is the most important conclusion to be drawn -- those who think that abortion is wrong are not just a handful of right-wing religious fanatics. Being pro-life is just as much a mainstream American viewpoint as the evil opposite.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sports of choice

Agent 46 sends along the following interesting observation...

1 The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL.

2 The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING.

3 The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL.

4 The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL.

5 The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS.


6 The sport of choice for corporate executives and officers is GOLF.

AMAZING CONCLUSION: The higher you go in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become.

COROLLARY: There are probably a lot of people in our nation's capital playing marbles.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reform of the reform? Whatever for?

Our man in Rome [the other man! Ed.] weighs in with some comments on Pope Benedict XVI's plan to somehow merge the traditional Latin Tridentine Mass with the Novus Ordo "new mass", which the Holy Father himself called a "fabricated, banal, on-the-spot product".

John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, makes the excellent point that what is urgently needed in today's Catholic Church is not a "reform of the reform", but a return to the Mass of All Time, which by decree of Pope St. Pius V could not and cannot be changed.

In an e-mail to Agent 3, Mr. Vennari called Kurt Cardinal Koch’s announcement that the Pope's Motu Proprio is part of a long-term plan to merge both the old and new Mass "lunacy"!

On May 15th, John was privileged to attend a Pontifical High Mass celebrated at St. Peter's according to the "extraordinary" (Tridentine) rite. He made a short (six-minute) video which you can see on here.

Why anyone but a Protestant would feel moved to replace the beauty of the Latin Mass and sacred music with the dumbed-down guitar-picking "kumbayas" of the modern era is beyond me.

No Sharia law for Australian Muslims

While it's true that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard never told Muslims (directly) to love Australia or leave it -- see previous post -- earlier this week her government firmly rejected the nation that Muslims in that country could be governed by Sharia law rather than the Common Law.

Here, from Menzies House, "Australia's leading online community for conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers", is an excerpt of remarks by Australia's Attorney-General, Robert McClelland. The A-G said clearly there is no place for Sharia Law in Australian society and the government strongly rejects any proposal for its introduction.

"As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values," he said.

"Australia's brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law then Australian law wins out."

"People who migrate to Australia do so because of the fact that we have a free, open and tolerant society where men and woman are equal before the law irrespective of race, religious or cultural background.

"Indeed all applicants for citizenship swear a collective allegiance to the people of Australia and undertake to respect our customs and abide by our laws," the Attorney-General said.

"The values underpinning those principles will not be changing."

I like that. I like that a lot! Well done, Australia!!

I also like the idea of online communities for conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers. Your contributions are welcome.

Sharia law in Australia? "No, mate!"

Agent 5, to whom Walt has been related by marriages, sent Walt a comment on the decision of the Australian government not to accede to Muslims demands that their people, even though they're in Australia, be subject to Sharia law administered by Sharia courts.

The writer attributes the remarks to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Here's the text.

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

[Prime Minister] Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:

I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.

"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

I thought I'd read those words before. And the style of the rant sounds more American than Australian. So I went back through the archives, and sure enough, it's the old "American Air Force veteran's letter", which has been circulating in cyberspace since 2002.

In August 0f 2009 I told you how elements of the first letter were combined with a speech by then Australian Prime Minister John Howard, resulting in the version which we now see. Julia Gillard never uttered these words, but I'm sure many Australians -- and Americans, Brits and Canucks -- will agree with the sentiments.

Coming next: What the Attorney-General of Australia really did say!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Holy Mass: back to the future

Last week Pope Benedict XVI issued an instruction to clarify and reinforce Summorum Pontificum, his 2007 apostolic letter that encouraged wider use of the old Tridentine Rite of the Holy Mass. Because the letter called the Mass of All Time "the extraordinary rite", some bishops and priests seemed to feel that the new novus ordo mass was to remain the norm.

The old mass, the modernists argue, is only to be trotted out occasionally to appease old-fashioned traditional Catholics who feel the new mass is really a "new mess" foisted on the Church at Vatican II by a fifth column of Protestants and Masons.

Last week's instruction makes it clear that, rather than just throwing a sop to the Society of St. Pius X and other traditionalists, the Holy Father is slowly but surely attempting to turn around St. Peter's barque around. According to Kurt Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Summorum Pontificum is just the first step in a "reform of the reform" in liturgy.

The cardinal said on Saturday that Pope Benedict thinks the post-Vatican II liturgical changes have brought "many positive fruits" but also problems, including a focus on purely practical matters and a neglect of the paschal mystery in the Eucharistic celebration. He said it was legitimate to ask whether liturgical innovators had intentionally gone beyond the council's stated intentions.

This, he went on, explains why the Holy Father has introduced a new reform movement, beginning with Summorum Pontificum. The aim, he said, is to revisit Vatican II's teachings in liturgy and strengthen certain elements, including the Christological and sacrificial dimensions of the Mass.

The pope's long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist, Cardinal Koch concluded, but to move toward a "common rite" that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms.

Walt's advice to Catholics born since 1956? Sign up for Latin lessons!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Immigration costs Canada billions, says think-tank

According to the Fraser Institute, a leading public policy think-tank, Canada’s immigrant selection process needs to be revamped to focus on admitting people with Canadian job offers and skills needed by employers.

Prof. Herbert Grubel, of Simon Fraser University and a co-author of a report released today, says, “Recent immigrants earn incomes that are, on average, just 72 per cent of those earned by other Canadians and pay only about one-half of the income taxes paid by other Canadians. At the same time, they absorb nearly the same value of government services and transfers as other Canadians.

“As a result of Canada’s welfare-state policies, our progressive income taxes, and universal social programs, these immigrants impose a huge fiscal burden on Canadian taxpayers.”

Using publicly available government statistics, the report, Immigration and the Canadian Welfare State 2011, calculates that the difference between immigrants’ tax payments and the value of government services they absorb was about $6,051 per immigrant in 2006, representing a total cost to Canadian taxpayers of $16.3 billion to $23.6 billion annually.

"This is a substantial amount and is expected to continue to grow for as long as the present immigration policies remain in place," according to economic consultant Patrick Grady, a co-author of the report.

Follow this link to see an abstract of the report. You can download the complete report, free. A hard copy version is also available for purchase.

The Caribbean black underclass in Britain

What follows was not written by a member of the British National Party or other "white supremacist" group. The author is Terry Tan, a Singaporean Chinese who has lived and worked in Britain for many years. In 1992 he wrote Culture Shock: Britain, part of the Culture Shock series.

Mr. Tan's book takes a fair, balanced and usually accurate look at life in contemporary Britain. He presents a thoughtful consideration of the racial conflicts found in Britain then, which are still evident now. Included is an assessment of the problems of the black community, which comprises, for the most part, people of Caribbean origin. The comments would apply equally to the black Caribbean ghettos of Toronto and New York. Parenthetical additions are mine.

One in three Caribbean families in Britain has a single parent. As incomplete nuclear families, misdemeanours occur frequently among the restless young who have little parental guidance. At a gathering of hundreds of thousands [e.g. London's Notting Hill Carnival or Toronto's Caribana] where beer flows and the spirit is high, restless youth can boil over easily.

When the family breaks down, troubles snowball and drugs take vicious hold of many black communities. Council [public or social] housing estates with a preponderance of single [i.e. single parent] families are particularly susceptible.

Most addicts are young, black and are not particular who they steal from and mug. The daily "fix" is their raison d'être and no one is spared. Family, friends, neighbours, white or black.

Black community leaders remain tight-lipped about the problem and any drug raids are seen as harassment by white policement....

Unfortunately, unlike in the Caribbean where extended families embrace single parents without reprobation, it is not the same case in Britain. A youngster growing up in a disruptive environment is likely to view society with scepticism and some anger.

In his book Behind the Front Lines -- Journey into Afro Britain, Ferdinand Dennis...concluded one thing. Black leaders must demand that their communities take greater responsibility for their own development. Only then will the crisis of all black famililes in Britain be recognized. Only then will cries of white harassment and other imagined putdowns be seen in their true light of racism-fanning.

Senator Daniel Moynihan said something similar about the Afro-American family way back in 1965. Almost half a century has passed, and the situation of blacks in the USA, Britain and Canada remains largely unchanged.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Survivor"... southern style!

Since the "Survivor" shows have proven so popular, several southern TV stations are joining together and are planning to do their own, entitled Survivor: Southern Style.

The contestants will start in Alabama, travel over to Georgia and on to
South Carolina. From there they will head up to North Carolina and over to

They will then proceed down to Mississippi and Louisiana, finally ending up back over in Alabama .

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with New Jersey licence plates and large bumper stickers that read: "I'm Gay"; "I'm a Vegetarian"; "NASCAR Sucks"; "Go Yankees!"; "Smoking is for Idiots"; "Obama in 2012"; "Deer Hunting is Murder"; and "I'm Here to Confiscate Your Guns".

The first one that makes it back to Montgomery alive, wins.

Ed. thanks Agent 6.

Mugabe finds new stamps not defective

Being a keen philatelist, Walt is always interested in news of rare and unusual stamps from anywhere in the world, from Aden to Zimbabwe with all stops in between.

Imagine my delight, then, to have received a proof of a new stamp issued by Zimbabwe post office early in 2009. This is an early version of the design, without the name of the country or the denomination -- since no-one knew how many billions of Zimdollars might be needed to mail a letter.

The picture is that of Zimbabwe's fearless and forever leader, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Liberator of Africa, Full of Grace and President for Life of the Mystic Knights of the Sea.

Shortly after the stamp was issued, State House (where Bob lives) started to receive letters complaining that the new stamps were defective, not sticking to the envelopes firmly. The prez himself went to his local post office to investigate.

Comrade Bob bought a stamp, spit on the back of it, and slapped it onto an envelope. The stamp adhered perfectly. So he went back to the wicket and asked the clerk, "What's this I hear about these new stamps not sticking?"

Replied the clerk, "Well... most people spit on the other side."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Islam: a historical perspective

Note from Ed.: Walt, selfish curmudgeon that he is, has never before turned over this space to anyone else. However, Agent 12 had his comments on Islam, 9/11 and the killing of Osama bin Laden rejected by a small daily paper near the border. We think these things need to be said. So here's a slightly abbreviated version of a column the lamestream press wouldn't print.

This year will see the tenth anniversary of 9/11. As the day draws closer, chronicles of the war on terror, interviews with survivors and where-were-you-when stories will become a veritable media tsunami. I fear that what will be missing from all this is any thoughtful historical perspective.

To consider the brutal attacks of 9/11 as the isolated evil of a few fanatics is to deny history -- a history that stretches back far beyond the first attempt on the Twin Towers in the 1990s, to the seventh century, to the birth of Islam.

What happened nearly a decade ago was just part of a continuum. We continue to be told that Islam is a "religion of peace" but that's just not so. It spread by force through the Middle East as non-Muslims were given the "choice" of conversion or death. It was the wrongly maligned Crusades that finally brought Islam to heel, but only for a time.

There was a Muslim resurgence in the 16th and 17th centuries, and then another respite for Christendom. In both these cycles, it was Christian fervour and blood that ultimately prevented Islam from taking total control of Europe.

Yet, what has been the reaction since 9/11? We declared war on terror, but instead of acknowledging that what's going on is indeed a religious war, our governments reacted by becoming rampantly secular.

President Barack Obama has declared that the United States is not a Christian country, although at least 75 per cent of Americans identify themselves as such. The percentage is similar in Canada.

Obama heads the pack of Western leaders who believe that by rejecting the Christianity on which our society was established, Islam will be appeased and there will be no bloodshed in the name of Allah. This is based on the naive belief that somehow an Islamic culture and a secular one can coexist peacefully.

For evidence to the contrary, one need only look to the predominantly Islamic countries, where Christians are routinely persecuted and Muslims who convert are imprisoned or killed. Here's a chilling statistic. Since 9/11 there have been 17,193 deadly terror attacks, according to the well-documented website Islam: The Religion of Peace. The site says that in the week ending May 6 there were 37 jihadist attacks resulting in 161 deaths and 302 people critically injured.

The last wave of Islam to wash over Western culture reached its high water mark in the 17th century. Armies from the Ottoman Empire had overrun much of Europe, advancing as far as the gates of Vienna. The victory won by a coalition of Christian armies led by Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, sent Islam back to retool for its next attempt, which began in the 20th century.

The big difference this time around is that the force of Christianity has been severely weakened. As the brilliant Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc warned in The Great Heresies (1936): Those who direct us and from whom the tone of our policy is taken have no major spiritual interest.... Islam has not suffered this spiritual decline and [in this] lies our peril.

And the date of that battle at Vienna? September 11, 1683. Just a coincidence?

Footnote from Ed.: Click here to read more of what Hilaire Belloc had to say about Islam. Huge thanks to Agent 12, whom we welcome to Walt's blog, for a fine article.

Mickey's army

Haitian pop star Mickey "Mouse" Martelly was officially sworn in as President of Haiti yesterday. The lights and audio went out several times during the ceremonies, but rumours of a coup turned out to be unfounded.

The new administration has a few, errr, challenges to sort out. There are still well over half a million people living in squalid camps. A cholera epidemic threatens to spread during the upcoming rainy and hurricane seasons. The legal system is in a state of collapse.

And, in spite of years of investment and training (by the Canadian Mounties, among others) "the police are not well equipped and don’t have the means to be apolitical. They are badly paid and sometimes neglected, which leads them astray." So said the prez himself.

So what's first on Sweet Mickey's list? Why, building a new army, of course! The previous discredited army was disbanded in 1995 by ousted former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The new army is intended to replace the UN force presently on what's left of the ground in Haiti. The UN force is known as MINUSTAH. It's not known whether this is the local pronunciation of "minister" or an acronym for "Minus The Army of Haiti".
Whatever it's called, the UN troops -- from places such as Nepal -- are tired of being blamed for rape and looting and the spreading of disease, and are going home.

A rebuilt Haitian police force was supposed to take over, but the new president seems to think a good strong army would be better. Not everyone agrees. Many Haitians associate the military with a leading role in political violence under former dictators "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier, as well as in subsequent coups.

Although it's not clear -- nothing in Haiti is clear -- if a new army will actually be built, dozens of young men are already volunteering their services, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

On a hillside by the sea, past crumpled houses and a graveyard, more than 100 of them line up, stomachs in, chests out, as men who claim to be generals and sergeants from the former army shout military commands.

None boasts a uniform, but many sport hand-painted T-shirts with the letters “FADH” across the front, short for Haiti’s Demobilized Armed Forces. They all voted for Martelly, hoping to soon be re-employed.

Meanwhile, the reconstruction effort continues at a desultory, barely perceptible pace. But yes, Haiti will have its own army...pretty soon. Sweet Mickey has even picked out a name -- "tontons macoutes".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

School bus! No farting allowed!

Walt never road the bus to school. I walked. Seven miles each way. In snow up to my waist...and I was shorter then! [Get on with it. Ed.] But I am told that those who rode the yellow school buses found it hilarious when one of their number belched or passed gas.

However, school authorities in Ohio felt two students from Canal Winchester middle school took the smelly shenanigans too far, temporarily revoking the kids' bus privileges for farting during a ride.

Seems the two boys had been warned by the bus driver previously, after “a similar display of synchronized farting”. Due to the laughter, jeering and overall ruckus that ensued from their latest fit of flatulence, the bus driver reported the incident to their principal, who handed the boys a one-day bus suspension.

James Nichols, father of one of the students, told The Columbus Dispatch he was stunned that the principal found his 13-year-old son’s behaviour obscene.

“He suggested my son should hold his gas on this hour-long bus ride, if in fact he has gas,” Mr. Nichols told the newspaper. But, added dad, “when it happens, it just happens. It’s not intentional.”

Mr. Nichols’ wife said that, while she admits her son is no angel, she was particularly upset, due to her own digestive health problems. The Dispatch quotes her as saying, “As a sufferer of gastrointestinal issues who was recently hospitalized for these issues, I take great offence to passing gas being cause for being cause for suspension and marked as an obscene gesture.”

Keeping in touch

First, apologies for my absence over the last couple of days. Blogger was down one day, and I was down the other other.

This might be a good time to remind you that you can send your comments, leads, what-have-you to me by e-mail: walt.whiteman@yahoo.com.

You can also comment on any post by using the box below. If you have something cogent to say and say it well, I'll publish it, even if I don't agree with it. But if all you can write is "This is racist" or "You're full of shit", or something similar, don't bother yourself...or me.

Thanks to all the Agents and others who contribute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Berthier-Maskinongé voted for Ruth-Ellen

A reader writes from Québec -- he reads the French version of this blog, no doubt -- to ask Walt to explain the results of the recent Canadian federal election.

In particular, our reader wants to know how it came about that le Nouveau Parti Démocratique, which has never held more than a single seat in la Belle Province, suddenly captured 58 of the 70 available. In even more particular, he wants to know whatever possessed the voters of the riding of Berthier-Maskinongé to elect Ruth-Ellen Brosseau.

Mme Brosseau may well be the hottest-ever MP. See pic. However she speaks only a little French, which one would think a handicap in a riding which is 98% francophone. But then Mme Brosseau could be forgiven for not knowing that, since she never set foot in the riding until yesterday, a week after the election. No, not even during the campaign. She spent most of the campaign on vacation in Las Vegas. How could the nice people of Berthier-Maskinongé have voted her in?

The answer to this poser may be found in Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel. There, the brilliant political analyst, Scott Adams, writes: Most voters are ignoramuses who get all of their opinions from paid TV ads.

If you doubt this thesis, look at the "ordinary people" shopping with you at the supermarket. (If you buy groceries at WalMart, don't stare too long or you'll damage your cerebral cortex.) You will observe that many of these "ordinary people" fill up their carts with nationally advertised brands of junk food. This in spite of the availability of equivalent house or no-name brands, usually on the very same shelf.

The generic potato chips or whatever are, as often as not, made by the very same company that produces the branded junk. And the generic junk is cheaper! Yet people buy Krapped foods (thanks to Adams for that one) rather than the no-name product. Why? Because "we seen it on TV!"

Still in doubt? Many malls now have "As Seen on TV" stores! People flock into these stores and flock off with shamwows and slap-chops which are the epitome of over-priced, useless crapola. Why? Because "we seen it on TV!" And here's the thing. Those shoppers are allowed to vote!

So, to win the votes of the "ordinary people", the parties praise (or vilify) the candidates, especially the party leaders, until people vote for (or against) them. The good bourgeois of Berthier-Maskinongé didn't vote for Mme Brosseau. They voted NDP/NPD because its leader, Smilin' Jack Layton, came over on TV as "the kind of guy you'd most want to have a beer with. We seen him on TV!"

Let's give the last words to Scott Adams.

My favorite thing that politicians say is "The voters aren't dumb." This is something that voters generally believe because they are dumb. I realize this sounds harsh. But if I'm wrong, and it's true that the voters are smart, despite allevidence to the contrary, it raises some troubling questions.

  • How uninformed must a voter be before it's okay to call him dumb?

  • If all the voters have roughly the same goals and the same information, but half of the voters vote one way and half vote the other way, doesn't that mean half of them are dumb?

  • How can we tell which half is the dumb half?

  • To which Walt would add this reminder. To win an election, you need only 50% + 1.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    "You doesn't have to call me Johnson!"

    This is Johnson Aziga. Mr. Aziga was born in Uganda. At some point he was accepted as an immigrant to Canada, and found a job with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General. What Mr. Aziga did not disclose on his immigration application, or at any other time, is the fact that he is HIV-positive.

    This was unfortunate since, true to his name, Johnson was very inclined to indulge in what Private Eye calls "Ugandan affairs". He had a wife, three kids, and a succession of girlfriends. He indulged in unsafe sex with no fewer than 11 women. Seven of them later tested positive for HIV, and two died of complications of AIDS, in December 2003 and May 2004.

    Fast forward to April 2009, when Mr. Aziga, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault. He thus became the first person ever to be tried and convicted of first-degree murder by virtue [eh? Ed.] of knowingly spreading the HIV virus.

    At the trial, his former girlfriends testified that Johnson lied about his HIV status and continued having unprotected sex until the morning of his arrest in 2003.

    There is no death penalty in Canada. Being in his mid-50s, Mr. Aziga would normally be eligible for parole sometime after he celebrates his 70th birthday, if he lives so long. At that point he might be deported to his native Africa. But the Crown doesn't want to chance that.

    No. The Crown is now seeking to have Mr. Aziga declared a dangerous offender, which would mean that he would remain a guest of Her Majesty (at the expense of Her Majesty's taxpayers) indefinitely. That means forever.

    Mr. Aziga is resisting the Crown's application. Perhaps he would like to have at least a hope of getting out of prison before his libido is reduced to nothingness. Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there's no fire in the furnace.

    Now the court is hearing, for the first time, an explanation for Johnson's behaviour, and in particular his failure to tell any of his 11 victims of his life-threatening disease. ["condition" surely! Don't be politically incorrect! Ed.]
    Mr. Aziga's excuse ["explanation", surely. Ed.] is... wait for it... that he has an undescended testicle. He was born that way, one hung low and one not. And that, according to a psychiatrist, is the cause of all his, errr, difficulties.

    He was embarrassed, you see. Mr. Aziga told the shrink that because of his abnormality, he always hid sexual information about himself. He didn't tell his wife or sex partners or anyone. And he didn't disclose his HIV status because he was afraid he would be rejected. Imagine that.

    A judge will rule on the Crown's application in due course. But don't think keeping the murderer behind bars is a sure thing. Mr. Aziga is not without his supporters, including Richard Elliott, deputy director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Dick described as "not very helpful" the decision to try Mr. Aziga at all!

    He said such charges might "lead to a dominant impression out there of people living with HIV as potential criminals". Ridiculous! We know that not everyone suffering from HIV/AIDS is a potential criminal. Just Johnson.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    A child explains Politics

    A little boy goes to his dad and asks, "What is Politics?"

    Dad says, "Well son, let me try to explain it this way. I am the head of the family, so call me The President. But really it's your mother who makes the decisions and handles the money, so we call her the Government.

    "We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People.
    The nanny, let's consider her the Working Class.
    And your baby brother, we will call him the Future.
    Now think about that and see if it makes sense."

    So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper.

    So the little boy goes to his parents' room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed.

    The next morning, the little boy says to his father, "Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now."
    Says the father, "Good, son. Tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about."

    The little boy replies, "The President is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit!"

    Out of the mouths of babes... Thanks and a touch of the ole chapeau to Agent 6.


    Walt is sick, sore and tired of hearing young female airheads exclaiming "Oh my God" in every second sentence. "OMG, I'm all like, y'know, rilly bummed out!" Walt is rilly bummed out too.

    "Oh my God," is an expression that should only be used in a sincere prayer, for instance "Oh my God, be merciful to me, a sinner." What I tell people who say or write "Oh my God!" to me is, "You really shouldn't say that unless you're praying. It would offend a believer...namely me."

    There's one good thing about Islam that we seem to lack in our so-called Christian society. You don't hear Muslims saying "Oh my Allah!" or "By the beard of the Prophet!" all the time. Unlike us "Christians", they show great reverence for the names of God and the Prophet Mohammed. A devout Muslim will not say or write the name of the latter without adding "Peace be unto him", or "PBUH" in writing.

    At one time, many Catholic parishes had a branch of the Holy Name Society. Its principal goal is "to promote reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members."

    Sadly, membership in the Holy Name Society has declined since the hippy-dippy `60s, when secular humanism became the new religion. One of the many symptoms of our social sickness is this flippant secularism that tolerates or even encourages blasphemy.

    Time was when, in moments of crisis, our leaders would not hesitate to invoke the Name of God, imploring His assistance to defeat the godless Nazis or Communists or the heathen Muslims. Times have changed. We don't need God's help anymore, because we "Christians" are smart enough and powerful enough to sort out any problem, even a natural disaster, on our own.

    Walt suspects that we don't know...or care...if God is really on our side. If He's not -- if He's on the Muslims' side for instance -- we can hardly blame Him. A little more reverence, or at least respect for the beliefs of others, would not be out of order.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    House votes to stop taxpayer-funded abortions

    Those who have doubts about the power of prayer were surprised, or reassured, or both last week when the US House of Representatives passed a comprehensive ban on the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.

    Bill H.R.3, called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” was approved on May 4 by a vote of 251 to 176. Every Republican Congressperson [or whatever they're called now. Ed.] voted in favour, but Democrats voted against it, 175-16. Former speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claims to be a Catholic, argued against the bill, especially the "conscience clause".

    If passed by the Sentate, the vote would make permanent the ban on public funding for abortion known as the “Hyde Amendment,” which now requires annual renewal. The bill would bar the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under the new national health-care plan. The legislation also includes the aforementioned “conscience clause,” preserving the right of health-care workers to refuse to be involved in abortions.

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed the House passage of the act.

    “By passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the House has taken a decisive step toward protecting human life, reflecting the will of the American people,” said Deirdre McQuade, of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

    “H.R. 3 also protects the civil rights of health care providers who conscientiously object to involvement in abortion,” she added. “The great majority of doctors, nurses and hospitals do not perform elective abortions. Catholic health care, the largest and highest quality nonprofit health care network in the country, rejects all direct abortions. To penalize these providers or push them out of the system would cause great harm to patients most in need.”

    The act now moves to the Senate, where "analysts" expect that it will be defeated. But remember the power of prayer...and the power of popular protest. I would write to my Senator, if he could only read. If your Senator can read, send him/her a letter. Send a copy to the editor of your local newspaper. Make your voice heard by man as well as by God.

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Time to rethink how America relates to the world?

    The following editorial comment by Walt's old buddy "CZ" appeared in the Financial Gazette, a more-or-less independent newspaper published in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    This week the world joined America in celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader whose organisation is blamed for the September 2001 bombing of America.

    Primitive as he might sound, CZ honestly thinks real victory (the real “momentous occasion”) will only come when Washington reviews the way it relates with other peoples of the world, which right now breeds resentment and has resulted in the proliferation of militant groups such as al-Qaeda and others.

    Even with bin Laden dead, Americans — with all their money and weapons — will still not be able to go to bed peacefully because of this inkling that somewhere in the darkness lurks a person who is plotting something against them. And they will still have to sleep with one eye wide open and always walk with their backs firmly to the wall. This is not how life should be enjoyed.

    The fact that it has taken the Americans with all their sophistication 10 long years to kill the al Qaeda leader means that he received sympathy, if not direct support, from a lot of people around the globe and these people will continue to support anything anti-American whenever they can.

    Beneath the patina of wide diplomatic smiles, there is a deep-seated anti-American feeling and it is only the Americans who can do something useful about it. Just listen to the deafening silence with which the Arab world received the news of bin Laden’s death.

    That silence was pregnant with meaning!

    Postscript: Reuters reports today that the Taliban have unleashed a spring offensive in Afghanistan, meant to exact a measure of vengeance for the death of bin Laden. Target: Kandahar, due to be abandoned by Canadian forces in July.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Hitting the jackpot in Vegas

    Channel 8 in Las Vegas reports the news. Like a robbery at a convenience store. Not exactly news, you say? Well, it's not so much the fact that a convenience store was relieved of quantity of beer and junk food, as the way in which it all went down.

    There wasn't just one thief, or two, or even three, but dozens! That's right. Even though they were being filmed by security cameras all over the store, a mob of young people descended on a convenience store on Sunset Road and Pecos Road like a swarm of locusts, stealing $600 worth of merchandise. "It became a feeding frenzy," said City Stop owner Jon Athey. "They were in the store for three minutes and 30 seconds. It's a pretty scary thing."

    Athey told Channel 8's reporter the crowd darted in and snatched numerous items from the store. "Beer to jerky to candy bars to soda, whatever hit their fancy..." he said. Athey called this tactic a "swarm". He'd seen it done before, he went on, but after 42 years in the convenience store business, this swarm stands out as the biggest ever.

    Gentle reader, I'm sure you get the picture. Notwithstanding that Walt hasn't said a word about race or colour, you probably have an image of the perps already in your mind's eye. Just for confirmation then, here's the video.

    There are two more versions of this on the Channel 8 website. Thanks to Agent 17 for the lead.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Doubting Thomas takes it back

    Yesterday we saw a report in the Toronto Star to the effect that Thomas Mulcair, deputy leader of Canada's NDP, didn't believe the US military has pictures of the corpse of Osama bin Laden. This is what Doubting Thomas said: “I don’t think, from what I’ve heard, those pictures exist, and if they do I’ll leave that up to the American military.”

    Most of us thought that, being an attorney and an experienced parliamentarian and debater, he meant to say exactly what he said, and meant us to take him at his word. Apparently not so.

    Today's Star quotes Mr. Mulcair as saying, “You [reporters] work in a world of words and so do I. Sometimes they don’t come out in exactly the best order and I’ll take responsibility for that perhaps in the context of a very busy week and a very happy one.”

    The words didn't come out in the right order? What order should they have come out in? "Those pictures exist, I don't think."? That doesn't sound anything like "I never doubted U.S. forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday or that photos could prove he is dead", does it. More like a lamer version of "I misspoke myself."

    Walt wouldn't be surprised if Doubting Thomas had a big dinner last night...a large helping of cold tongue from his boss, "Taliban Jack" Layton. Now that he's leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Mr. Layton is at great pains to draw a line under his party's reputation for being both leftist and anti-American. Mr. Mulcair is not helping.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Osama Bin Laden's last ever FB post

    Walt doffs his fedora to Agent 17 and Snipping Tool.

    Update on the conspiracy: The Toronto Star reports that Thomas Mulcair, the deputy leader of the NDP -- now Canada's Loyal Opposition -- doesn't believe the White House (or anyone) has any pictures of Bin Laden's corpse. During an appearance on CBC-TV's Power and Politics, he said President Obama’s version of the death of the terrorist mastermind is "incomplete, if not untrue".

    A spokesthingy for the White House said, "So who's Thomas Mulcair? Some pinko from...where was that again?"

    Update on the update: Military intelligence has it that leadership of Al Qaeda has been assumed by a shadowy figure named Hassan bin Seeyun. Rumour has it that the mysterious Hassan has been hiding at 1698 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Why America is hated (continued)

    All right, then. Let's forget about the "technical difficulties", and let's accept that everything happened exactly the way the White House and the Pentagon say it did. [But which official version of the truth are we to believe? Ed.] Osama Bin Laden is dead. No matter whether he was killed in a firefight or murdered in cold blood after being taken captive, he's dead...deceased, expired, extinct, rung down the final curtain, gone to Paradise where he's busy deflowering 72 virgins.

    Two questions remain.

    First, why on earth would they dump his body in the ocean, rather than giving the corpse to his family for a proper burial, in the ground, with his head pointing towards Mecca, as Muslim tradition requires. At best, throwing Osama into the briny is a shockingly egregious display of cultural insensitivity or just plain ignorance.

    The official excuse given is that the military didn't want the grave to become the site of religious pilgrimages which would only exacerbate anti-American sentiment. But at least, if all the Muslims were gathered around the grave, prostrate with their bums pointed skyward, you could see them!

    Second question. Why will the White House not release the photos, so the conspiracy buffs might believe because they can see with their own eyes that Bin Laden is dead...deceased, expired [That's enough! Ed.]

    The answer to that one is much like the answer to the first. President Osama doesn't want the gory photos to make the Muslims angry because they might, errr, do something. As if they're not already angry. As if they're not already doing things, like plotting and executing acts of terrorism. No? But the threat of terrorism is officially the reason why we invaded Iraq, then Afghanistan, with Libya possibly next on the list.

    Walt is waiting for further and better answers from the Leader of the Free World. But Walt is not holding his breath.

    Why America is hated

    What really happened to Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan? Was he killed in a firefight? Was he shot in cold blood while trying to surrender? Is he really dead? Or is the whole thing just another CIA hoax?

    Why won't the Pentagon or White House or someone show us evidence that Osama is dead? What happened to his body? Did they really throw it into the sea? Where are the pictures and videos that are said to exist? Was the whole thing done on a back lot in Hollywood?

    The hemming and hawing over those questions -- indeed, that there should be any questions at all -- illustrates perfectly why the USA has such trouble in its dealings with the rest of the world. The problems are naïveté coupled with ignorance and insensitivity, complicated by a proclivity for bungling.

    Dealing with the bungling first -- because it's funnier -- did you see the video simulation (a Korean cartoon, I think) of the invasion of Bin Laden's compound? Two choppers come down. One has a "hard landing" [crash, surely. Ed.] but no-one is hurt and the mission goes ahead.

    Osama is watching the whole thing in real time, and so is Obama. Right? Errr...maybe not Obama. As it turns out, there were "technical difficulties" and it seems those videos of the Prez and Hellery watching it all unfold may have been a bit misleading. Walt thinks they might have been watching Family Guy instead.

    I'll get to the ignorance and insensitivity in my next post.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Canadian politics shaken, not stirred

    If a week in politics is a long time, 5.5 years is an eternity. It could take until October of 2016 for Canadians to get another shot at overthrowing the ruthless and dictatorial régime of Stephen Harper.

    That's because Mr. Harpoon finally -- on the fourth try -- got his longed-for majority in yesterday's election. The Toronto-centric, latte-sipping, elitist Liberals also had their apparent death wish realized, finishing a distant third for the first time in history.

    Who came in second? The leftish New Democratic Party (NDP), members in good standing of the international alliance of "social democrats". Fortunately for Canada, the Harper majority means the Knee-Dippers' leader, Jack Layton, won't get to lead a coalition and turn Canada into another Sweden.

    Also fortunately, the separatist Bloc Québecois unexpectedly disintegrated, falling from 47 seats in the House of Commons to a mere 4. Their leader, Gilles Duceppe -- the only federal leader with the cojones to be politically incorrect -- lost his own seat. (So did Liberal leader "Count" Michael Ignatieff -- as in "count him out!")

    So Canadians got their politics like James Bond's martini -- shaken, not stirred. Walt is reminded of the demise of Britain's Liberal Party almost a century ago. Since then, the Brits have usually had a clear choice between left and right, between Labour and the Conservatives -- a two-party system from which a small-L liberal rump is largely irrelevant. Canada may be headed in the same direction.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Three blondes explain Easter

    Three blondes died and found themselves standing before St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter represented.

    The first blonde, an American, said "Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey."

    St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and wouldn't let her in.

    The second blonde, a Brit, said "Easter is when we celebrate Jesus's birth and exchange gifts."

    St. Peter said, "Noooooo," and he wouldn't let her in either.

    The third blonde, a Canadian, said she knew what Easter was, and St.Peter said, "So, tell me."

    She said, "Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with his disciples when he was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested him. The Romans hung him on the cross and eventually he died. Then they buried himin a tomb behind a very large boulder ..... "

    St. Peter said, "Verrrrrry good..."

    Then the blonde continued, "Now, every year the Jews roll away the boulder and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of hockey."

    St. Peter fainted.

    Thanks and a tip of the toque to Agent 2, who I would never have thought could be so politically incorrect!

    So it's over, then?

    Wonderful news this weekend for the forces of justice and freedom! Not only have the western powers succeeded in killing the Mad Colonel's youngest son and some of his grandchildren, but the glorious and resourceful US military has managed at last to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden.

    Walt is listening to reports on the ole rangdidio right now. A voice from Pakistan is saying that Bin Laden's whereabouts have been known since, errr, August. So it took only eight months to get someone in there to shoot a man who -- let's face it -- was already a has-been. His last words may well have been, "Hey, wait a minute. I used to be a powerful Muslim leader!"

    "Justice has been done," claimed President Hussein Obama. And Americans danced in the streets of New York and Washington. But the killings of Bin Laden and the Gadhafis won’t be regarded as justice by very many Muslims. Rather, they will be seen as the latest evidence of arrogant, powerful infidels conducting a "crusade" against the righteous followers of the Prophet.

    Will we have peace as a result of this weekend's strikes? If you believe that, I'd like to talk to you about some moose pasture in Minnesota. Rather than dying down, the war in Afghanistan will escalate, even as Obama tries to "draw down" the more than 100,000 U.S. troops he has deployed there. The blood-letting will continue. (Lifetime pct: .973)