Friday, January 31, 2014

If not a "headscarf", what would you call it?

Yesterday Walt commented on the accidental death of a lady whose head covering -- referred to as a "headscarf" -- got caught in an escalator at the Fabre station of the Montréal Metro (subway). While trying to free the "headscarf", the unfortunate lady got her hair caught, with fatal consequences. Walt's comment was that the death was a good argument for not wearing such head coverings in public places.

Even though Ed. made it clear [he thought! Ed.] that the assumption that the "headscarf" was a hijab had been made by the sub-editor at the QMI agency, who called it that in the headline in the Sun newspapers, we were greeted this morning by a comment calling Walt a "racist" for Walt's (presumed) support of the Charter of Québec values.

"Racist" is what liberals and PC thinkers call anyone who disagrees with their views on the beneficence of immigration, secularism, abortion, homosexuality etc etc ad nauseam. There was no evidence, the commenter said, to suggest that the deceased was a Muslim, yet (he or she said) that was what Walt implied by suggesting that the accident could be linked to headgear worn by Muslim women.

OK then. Here's a Facebook photo of the deceased. She is...or was...Naima Rharouity, age 47, from the district of Villeray, in Montréal's east end. She immigrated to Canada with her husband and children a little less than two years ago.

We don't know if this covering worn by Mme Rharouity is the same one she was wearing when she met her fate, but I think it's safe to assume that if not, it would have been something similar. And what should we call it? Please refer to "Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?" It's not a burqa. It's not a niqab, which veils the face except for the eyes.

You might call it a "headscarf", since it's not cut square at the bottom as a hijab usually is, but it's being worn in the same manner (and for the same religious reason) as a hijab. Hands up, all who made the same assumption as the sub-editor at QMI...and Walt. Thank you.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another good reason to ban the burqa (and the hijab and the niqab)

Disclaimer: Walt is posting this true story "straight" -- no smart remarks or editorializing -- to make the point that covering one's head with any kind of scarf or hood may not be the safest thing to do if you're going out in modern Western society.

A report from Montréal today says that a woman in her 30s is dead after her "headscarf" -- the word used by the QMI agency -- and hair became caught in an escalator at the Fabre Metro (subway) station.

A bystander found the woman lying at the base of the escalator and alerted transit workers, who called police. When first responders arrived, the woman was unresponsive. "We tried to perform resuscitation," a paramedic told QMI, "but we weren't able to save her."

Montréal police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said the exact circumstances of the woman's death weren't immediately clear, but it appeared "her headscarf and her hair got stuck in the escalator. Was she strangled by her scarf or was she the victim of an illness before falling? It's too early to say."

Police shut down the Metro station for the investigation, and are examining surveillance video to find out exactly what happened.

Note from Ed.: Since the QMI report quoted the policeman as calling what the woman wore a "headscarf", you may ask why Walt has mentioned "hijab" in the headline. It's because that was the word used by QMI in their headline. It might have been a niqab, or a burqa...or just a headscarf with no religious or ethnic significance at all.

Further reading on WWW:
"Hijab, niqab, burqa -- what's the difference?"
"VIDEO: Culture clash! Québécois uncomfortable with Muslims importing their customs to Canada"

Happy Chinese New Year!

Walt, Len [and Ed.!]
wish all our Chinese friends and readers
a happy and prosperous
Year of the Horse!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Look! Up in the sky! It's a plane, it's a dove of peace...


Just in case you thought Walt was pulling your leg in the previous post, here's a picture of the Superpope graffito which has appeared in Rome this week.

I'm calling it a "graffito" now because, thanks be to God, there's only one, so far. The large painting by Italian street artist Maupal has appeared on a building near the Vatican. It shows Pope Francis taking off [not ascending! Ed.] into the air, his right fist clenched ahead of him in classic Superman style.

His white cape and cross flutter in the breeze and in his left hand he carries a black briefcase bearing the word "valores" (= "values", in Spanish). A scarf bearing the blue and red colours of his favourite Argentine soccer club, San Lorenzo, emerges from the bag. But unlike Superman, Francis flies with his glasses on!

Superpope apparently has the approval of the Holy See, as it was tweeted yesterday by the Vatican's Twitter account(@PCCS_VA).

Oh that Francis... a real pope star!

Walt wishes he could tell you this was a spoof, or one of those photoshop-yourself thingies you can create online. But it's the real McCoy...or should I say, the real Bergoglio...on the cover of the January 31st issue of Rolling Stone.

Gonna see my picture on the cover,
Gonna send five copies to my mother...

I haven't actually seen the mag yet (thanks to Agent 36 for sending this) so can't say if there's any connection with items in the media today about "Superpope" graffiti springing up on walls all over Rome, although not St. Peter's itself. Not yet.

Perhaps the article refers to the Party Pope's homily at a "Mass" on January 28th. Francis called on all Christians to be "open to spontaneous, joyful, exultant prayer -- 'the prayer of praise'. The Pope was reflecting on II Samuel [II Kings] 6:14: "And David danced with all his might before the Lord..."

He said such joyful manifestations should not be considered appropriate only for "the Renewal in Spirit folks". That would be the Pentecostals and other charismatics, known to some of us as "Holy Rollers". On the contrary, he insisted, "prayer of praise is a Christian prayer."

Well, yes, but dancing "with all [your] might"? Twisting and shouting? The Pope cautioned the faithful not to be like King Saul’s daughter, who "despised" King David for his display. "Well, you’re able to shout when your team scores a goal," said Francis, "and you are not able to sing praises to the Lord?".

Perhaps the Pope would have done well to skip on down to verse 20, to read the exact words:
"Michol the daughter of Saul comiong out to meet David, said: How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself before the handmaids of his servants, and was naked, as if one of the buffoons should be naked."

Is that how it's going to be then, when Pope Francis completes his "reform of the reforms"? Are we all going to doff our ephods and prance around before the handmaids of our servants, naked as jaybirds? Perhaps Walt should start going to church again.

VIDEO: What's in your beer fridge?

One of these is a real beer commercial. The other is a spoof from This Hour Has 22 Minutes. You figure out which is which. Sound up.

Thanks and a tip of the toque to Agent 71, who doesn't need a beer fridge. All he has to do is throw a square into the snowbank outside the back door!

What Obama DIDN'T say -- the REAL state of the union

Walt was very pleased by last night's major event, which he watched in its entirety on satellite TV. Carey Price definitely deserved the first star, with a fine performance in the Canadiens goal, and the team played much better than on Saturday.

Ohhhh... Apparently there was something else on TV last night -- a lengthy exercise in excuse-making by the Prez. Some are calling it a "State of the Union Address". Neil Macdonald, senior Washington correspondent for CBCNews, was obliged to watch the whole sick-making speech, and by way of commentary wrote an alternative speech -- the one that Obama would never give. Here's his introduction:

"With few exceptions (such as Gerald Ford's blunt 1975 assessment that "the state of the union is not good") the president's annual report to Congress is an exercise in reassuring Americans they are exceptional, blessed by God, leading the world, and headed for better things.

"Last night's was no different; at best, it amounted to an optimistic statement of intent by a president who has been thwarted constantly by other arms of government since assuming office. So, let's imagine what an outsider like, say, me, might submit if asked for a more succinct, less varnished assessment of the state of the American union."

The imaginary "real state of the union" speech penned by Mr. Macdonald is simply excellent, worth reading in its entirety. We are unable to publish it here for reasons of space [not to mention copyright! Ed.]. So click on this link and get the cold, hard truth about what the Obama maladministration has done to America.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wisdom about who really runs America, from someone who knew

Len here...again. Walt has been ill since 8 p.m. Montréal time last night, so I'm at centre hice for now.

Our post about the Afghanistan war -- "Reality check: the war in Afghanistan is LOST!" -- drew a terse and cryptic response from Agent 17, who wrote "Ike was right." Walt had to admit that he couldn't remember anything President Eisenhower had ever said, so asked for the reference.

Turns out our man in the souf was reading "Beware the Education–Industrial Complex", an article by Alan Singer published on the BeyondChron website in April of 2012. In the article, Mr. Singer picked a couple of very key points out of the President's farewell address to the nation on completion of his second term, in January 1961

"In the speech," Mr. Singer writes, "Eisenhower warned the American people of the growing power of a 'military-industrial complex', an alliance of the military with defense contractors that he saw as a threat to democracy."

The author's point is that America's transformation into an undemocratic, totalitarian state continues today. Mr. Singer puts it this way: "Democracy in the United States is now under a similar assault from an education-foundation-political-industrial complex."

The article is an attack on corporatism -- the subordination of the interests of the common people to those of big business -- written by one of the "progressive thinkers" who dominate the media. But the point is well taken, particularly in the US of A. You may think the maladministration of Al O'Bama is in charge, but it's really big business which drives government policy.

If you want proof, look no further than Obamacare. Why does America -- alone of all developed nations -- not have free (tax-funded) basic health care for all? Because the insurance companies and HMOs don't want to relinquish their obscene profits! Who screwed up America's financial system? The banks! Who insists on spending trillions of dollars on armaments we don't need and wars that can't be won? The military-industrial complex! I rest my case.

Click here to read the complete text of President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Memo to Marc Bergevin: It's time to trade Subban!

Memo from Poor Len Canayen to Marc Bergevin:
As our readers know, the proprietor of this blog and I are big fans of your Montréal Canadiens, a.k.a. Les Glorieux. We are disappointed in the extreme that for the week last past week they have been anything but.

Three straight losses! That's unacceptable! Before the team falls out of what seemed to be a guaranteed playoff spot, something must be done! Here's our analysis and recommendation.

Goaltending: You've got two Olympians, both of whom were playing very well until this month. Wednesday night Petr Budaj let in zero goals. Unfortunately Carey Price let in five. (Therrien left him in the game one goal too long.) Price has every reason to feel demoralized. To use the old cliché, he should sue his defence for non-support.

Offence: The current edition of les Canadiens is never going to score a lot of goals. You should be able to count on 2, or maybe 3 on a good night. 5-spots are rare. But Wednesday night and last night they managed only one (1). You've got a couple of guys who aren't contributing. Here's a short list:
Rene Bourque -- Shows signs of trying hard but can't find the back of the net. We hear you've already shopped him around, with no takers. Send him to Hamilton and give someone else a chance.
Daniel Brière -- Past his sell-by date. Could he be traded?
Lars Eller -- We like Eller a lot and wouldn't like to see him gone. Perhaps the solution is to reunite the "EGG" line, once (as we hope) Galchenyuk's injured hand heals.
Michael Bournival -- Back to Hamilton for more experience, especially when playing without the puck.

Defence: What defence? You'd think out of eight or nine guys you could get two reliable pairs. Our comments:
Andrei Markov -- Never a speedster, now getting old and obviously his bunged-up knee will never be the same. But the team wouldn't be where it is now without him. Forgive him for the game against Pittsburgh. He just can't keep up, 25 minutes a game, any more.
Alexei Emelin -- Is a puzzlement. He bangs and crashes with the best of them, but doesn't seem to be reading the plays very well. Leave him with Markov and you've got one good (if not exceptional) pair.
Josh Gorges -- Gorgeous Gorges, a capable stay-at-home defenceman, great shot-blocker. And a real team leader. He too is doing his best and will be OK, but who to play with him?
Rafael Diaz -- Why did he have to watch from the press box on Wednesday and Friday? He hasn't been any worse than the other defencelessmen. He's competent enough, just lacks the toughness to really intimidate opposing forwards.

So -- leaving aside last year's Norris trophy winner -- there's your top four. Now let's look at:
Francis Bouillon -- Another member of the over-the-hill gang, but still OK as long as he doesn't have to play two games in two nights. Could play with Gorges if needed.
Douglas Murray -- Has improved and has the toughness Diaz and others lack, but soooo slow. Makes the much-missed (by us) Hal Gill look like a speedster. We couldn't believe Therrien paired him with Subban last night. They probably only saw each other in the dressing room.
Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi -- Two more not ready for the NHL.

Which brings us to:
Pernell Karl Subban -- Marc, it's time to think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable. The team would be better off trading Subban for an impact forward!

It's time to stop making excuses for P.K. He's not a kid any more, and he doesn't learn from his many mistakes. First, he needs to learn how to skate. Maybe he's top-heavy, or maybe he has equipment problems, but he seems to keep falling down. And when he does a tight turn, the knuckles of his free hand drag on the ice! Secondly, he needs to learn to play defence. His job should be not to score goals -- although that's appreciated -- but to keep guys like Sid the Kid from scoring goals! Thirdly, he needs to stop being a "heat score". He's very visible [a vizmin! Ed.] and the referees don't like him.

Speaking of "don't like him", you've got to stop glossing over the fact that Subban is disliked not just by fans of every other team, but by some of his own teammates. The Russians (Markov and Emelin) won't play with him. Erik Cole went to Dallas in a "me-or-him" decision. And stories of dressing room dissension persist. Subban is a puck hog, a hot dog, a distraction and a divisive force in the room. Get rid of him!

"But where?", we hear you ask, Marc. Why, Toronto, of course! Subban is a Toronto boy, the Leafs' defence is woeful, and P.K. can be a hero to the promoters of diversity. And... get this... Toronto has the impact forward that Montréal needs -- James van Riemsdyk. What a deal that would be! ... Just our two cents ...

À lire: "Canadien: d'autres remaniements en défense"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reality check: the war in Afghanistan is LOST!

Since the lamestream media concentrate on sports and entertainment on weekends, you may not have seen reports of the latest horrific attack on foreigners in Kabul, the capital of Armpitistan. Last Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a restaurant filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans, while two gunmen stormed through the back door and opened fire.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Friday's attack "in the strongest terms," in a statement given by spokesthingy Farhan Hack. [Ed., please check spelling.] "Four United Nations personnel, along with a number of those from other international organizations, are now confirmed dead," Haq said. "Such targeted attacks against civilians are completely unacceptable and are in flagrant breach of international humanitarian law. They must stop immediately," he added wistfully.

Further reading on WWW: "Why do Afghans keep killing Westerners? They hate us!"

The suicide bombing can only be seen as yet another episode in the American war on Afghanistan -- the longest-running war in American history. True, the dead weren't members of the US military -- not in uniform, at least -- but to the Taliban, it doesn't matter whether you're in a uniform or a suit; if you have white skin and blue eyes you're an infidel invader.

The question is why we keep sending people to that godforsaken sandpit to get killed. Hasn't it dawned on the Prez or anyone in his administration that the war is over? Well, not officially over, but certainly lost!

Daniel L. Davis is a Lietenant Colonel in the US Army. He has deployed into combat zones four times in his career, being awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor in Desert Storm and Bronze Star in Afghanistan. Nearly two years ago, the New York Times reported on two papers he published after returning from his second combat deployment to Afghanistan, in which he questioned the wisdom of pouring more men and resources into a war that couldn't be won.

Nobody paid attention, except for the purpose of disputing Lt-Col. Davis's characterization of the conflict.

Only a year ago, the commander of all US and allied forced, General John R. Allen, told an audience, "This insurgency will be defeated over time by the legitimate and well-trained Afghan forces that are emerging today, who are taking the field in full force this spring. Afghan forces defending Afghan people and enabling the government of this country to serve its citizens. This is victory."

That quote comes from an article by Lt-Col. Davis posted this week on The Daily Beast. [Thanks to Agent 17 for sending it along. Ed.] Here's the concluding paragraph.

"We have asked tens of thousands of American men and women to sacrifice their lives and bodies to the war in Afghanistan, ostensibly in defense of American national security. Over the last number of years our most senior leaders have resolutely refused to admit what the evidence plainly confirms: our strategies and policies have failed. We must stop sacrificing the lives and limbs of America’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines to support 'messaging' at the expense of the truth."

Further reading on WWW:
"Krazai Afghan president calls NATO mission 'failure'"
"'They're savages here, one and all'"
"We came, we conquered, we failed"

Nobody likes the Charter of Québec Values...except the people!

The proposed Charter of Québec values has rung the bell of the lamestream media and the chattering classes, both in la Belle Province and in TROC (The Rest of Canada). Those calling it "racist", "anti-Muslim", and "unhelpful" -- you know the list of epithets -- include the Federation of Québec School Boards, the association representing the province's health care industry, and even the Québec Bar Association, which says the Charter will certainly be challenged in the courts.

What's really causing those who celebrate diversity to soil their silkies is the possibility that the Parti Québecois -- presently a minority government -- will call a snap election with the Charter (and only that) as the ballot question. Latest polls put the PQ in first place (ahead of the Liberals), with 36% of decided voters likely to back them. If polling day results reflect those numbers, the PQ would be returned with a majority.

Why? Because the real people of Québec -- even in the "culturally diverse" Montréal region -- overwhelmingly support the proposal. On Monday, a Léger poll found that that 60% Québecois back the Charter. Among the crucial francophone voters, that number rises to just short of 70%!

It's real people -- like the Pineault-Caron family, from the Saguenay town of Sacré-Coeur -- who are speaking out against religious and cultural "accommodation", meaning the stealthy Islamization of their heretofore white Christian society. The video of part of their testimony about the upsetting sights and sounds of Islam they suffered during their travels in Morocco and Turkey — and their conclusion that it is "unthinkable" to allow people in such "disguises" to roam around in public in Québec — became a YouTube sensation, registering over 300,000 hits so far.

Some Québecois see the charter as little more than an electoral ploy. The pundits and "progressive thinkers" of the anglophone media accuse the PQ of playing the "politics of division", to get back the francophone vote they lost to the Coalition Avenir Quebec in the last election. If that's the plan, it's working; the Leger poll says support for the CAQ is down 10 points from the 2012 election.

What about a court challenge, if the Charter is enacted? For the liberals and diversity-lovers, the wish will almost certainly be father to the thought and grandfather to court challenges under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Such action would bring the whole issue of diversity and "accommodation" not just to the Supreme Court of Canada (ultimately) but to the attention of the real people in TROC. According to Walt's Canuck agents, there are a great many -- outside of Toronto, the font of all evil -- who would be happy to see a similar law in force all over the Great Not-so-white North.

Further reading on WWW: "What Québec's new Charter of Values will and will not do"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ex-chief of Swiss Guard confirms existence of "homolobby" at Vatican

We've been calling it the "gay lobby". The Dutch have a better word for it -- homolobby. And yes, Virginia, there really is such a thing, within the Vatican! So says Elmar Mäder, commander of the Swiss Guard from 2002 to 2008.

"I know from personal experience that the gay lobby exists," Herr Mäder told the Swiss weekly Schweiz am Sonntag, according to a report on Kerknet, the website of the Church in Flanders. He was responding to questions about reports in which an unidentified member of the Swiss Guard had claimed that he had been the target of sexual advances made by a number of officials of the Curia.

Herr Mäder went on to say that active homosexuals [as opposed to passive homosexuals? Ed.] within the Vatican comprise a virtual "secret society". Because they are more loyal to each other than the Holy See, he added, "it becomes a security risk."

In June 2013, while discussing problems within the Roman Curia during a conversation with religious leaders from Latin America, Pope Francis alluded to the same problem. "There is talk about a 'gay lobby'," he said, "and it's true, that exists."

Neither the Holy Father nor Herr Mäder mentioned the name of Msgr Alan McCormack (pictured), an official in the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Toronto until he was transferred to... wait for it... the office of the Congregation for the Defence of the Faith in Rome in the wake of a libel action by Father Nicholas Gruner.

In 2004, after the court action had been kicked into the long grass, Msgr. McCormack returned to Canada as Judicial Vicar of the Canadian Appeal Tribunal, a position which placed him about as far from the public eye -- and any parish -- as a priest can get. Msgr. McCormack resigned from that post on 29 February 2012. Walt does not know if he returned to the Vatican or not.

Further reading on WWW: "Vatican insider identifies 'prelate of the gay lobby'"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

VIDEO: Culture clash! Québécois uncomfortable with Muslims importing their customs to Canada

The Québec National Assembly's Committee on Institutions has now begun hearings on the province's proposed Charter of Québec Values. If passed into law, the Charter would affirm the secular humanist values of "modern Québec" and severely restrict the religious and cultural "accommodation" of immigrants and religious minorities.

For example, the Charter would ban the wearing by public servants of overtly religious symbols, particularly headgear such as turbans and hijabs. See "What Québec's new Charter of Values will and will not do".

The proposed Charter has been denounced by the usual suspects as racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, ŷada yada yada. It can certainly be seen as blowback against political correctness, multiculturalism and the "celebration of diversity" which the Canadian government keeps saying is good for the country. The Bloc Québécois government itself has warned the vizmins that they'd better accommodate themselves to the values of their adopted country, not the other way around. See "Accept Québec values, black PQ minister warns immigrants".

The hearings now being held in the provincial capital are an opportunity for everyone -- not just the usual coterie of pundits, politicians and other "experts" -- to express their opinions. Even ordinary people are allowed to speak. Three such "real people" appeared on the 16th. Here's a short video of the testimony of Geneviève Caron and Claude Pineault, telling the commission about their experience travelling to Morocco and Turkey, countries that have a large Muslim majority.

For those who have difficulty understanding Québec French, Ed. has posted (below) a transcript of M Pineault's remarks, from Hansard, the official record of the proceedings. We'll add a précis, in English, below the video.

Recounting her visit to a mosque in Morocco, where she was asked to remove her shoes, Mme Caron said she reluctantly gave up her footwear, following the customary Muslim practice, only to find women and men praying on their hands and knees in separate quarters of the temple. "I remained really marked by this," she continued. "I got back on the bus and said, 'Could this be? Praying on all fours on a carpet?'".

M Pineault, her husband, spoke about visiting an open-air market in Tangier. While looking for souvenirs to buy, he had his pocket picked by two people who were wearing some kind of religious headgear. "Who was under these disguises? Women? Men? I don’t know." he said. "What I do know, is that it’s unthinkable to allow people to walk around in Quebec, in the streets, in public places — really anywhere besides homes and private places — with such disguises."

Bernard Drainville, the minister responsible for getting the Charter through the National Assembly, replied that many Muslims who come to Québec integrate quite well. He told M Pineault that he didn't want to send the message that people from other countries are a menace to Québec society.

The hearings continue.

Further reading on WWW: "Nobody likes the Charter of Québec Values...except the people!"

Extrait du Journal des débats (Hansard) of the Committee on Institutions (Québec)

Note from Ed.: What's this all about, I hear you ask. Well, back in September the government of Québec proposed to enact a Charter of Québec Values, which would affirm the secular humanist values of "modern Québec" and severely restrict the religious and cultural "accommodation" of immigrants and religious minorities.

For example, the Charter would ban the wearing by public servants of overtly religious symbols, particularly headgear such as turbans and hijabs. See "What Québec's new Charter of Values will and will not do".

The proposed Charter was seen by many as a backlash against political correctness, multiculturalism and the "celebration of diversity". It was denounced by the usual gang of "progressive thinkers" as a message from the French-speaking, nominally Catholic majority to the vizmins that they'd better accommodate themselves to the values of their adopted country, not the other way around. See "Accept Québec values, black PQ minister warns immigrants".

The Québec National Assembly's Committee on Institutions has now begun hearings on the proposed law, inviting submissions, pro and con, from all and sundry -- not just the usual coterie of pundits, politicians and other "experts". Even ordinary people are allowed to speak. Three such "real people" appeared on the 16th, to share their opinions and experiences with "accommodation" in Canada and in countries where Islam rules.

In the following post, I'm going to embed a video so you can see and hear the testimony of Claude Pineault and Geneviève Caron. M Pineault asked the Committee had some pointed questions. For our readers who struggle with le français tel qu'on le parle au Québec, I'm posting this transcript from Hansard, the official record of the proceedings. Those who wish to have a translation into English or Arabic are advised to use Google Translator. You're welcome.

Le Président (M. Ferland) : Alors, la commission va reprendre ses travaux. Je demande aux gens de reprendre leur siège, s'il vous plaît. Maintenant, nous allons recevoir M. Claude Pineault pour sa présentation. En vous mentionnant que vous disposez d'un délai de 10 minutes pour la présentation de votre mémoire, suivi de l'échange. Et je vous demanderais peut-être de présenter les personnes qui vous accompagnent. Alors, M. Pineault, la parole est à vous.

M. Pineault (Claude) : Oui, merci de nous permettre de donner notre point de vue. Je suis accompagné de mon épouse, Geneviève Caron, et d'une de mes filles, Manon Pineault.... Je vous présente mon mémoire. Je désire présenter moi-même mon mémoire à la commission. Je ne suis pas un expert, comme certains semblent se définir, mais je suis capable de faire mon choix personnellement.

J'ai visité plusieurs pays où il y a différentes religions telles que protestantes, orthodoxes, surtout musulmanes, exemple, le Maroc, la Turquie et la Tunisie. Au Maroc, à Tanger, j'étais dans un souk à choisir des souvenirs, on me fouille du côté droit. Je croyais que c'était mon épouse, mais on me fouille aussi du côté gauche. Je regarde; je vois deux personnes avec des cagoules sur la tête. Je les ai repoussées, et elles se sont sauvées. Qui était sous ces déguisements, des femmes, des hommes? Je ne sais pas. Mais ce que je sais, c'est qu'il est impensable de permettre à des personnes de se promener au Québec, dans les rues, les endroits publics, enfin, nulle part sauf dans les résidences ou les endroits privés, avec de tels déguisements.

En Turquie, à la fête du sacrifice, dans la région de l'Anatolie, j'ai vu des milliers brebis et autres animaux arriver par camion pour la fête du sacrifice. Le lendemain, j'ai vu le sang de ces bêtes couler dans les rues. À Istanbul, belle ville, mais les minarets répartis un peu partout dans la ville où les muezzins ou crieurs font entendre leur sirène, leur chant plusieurs fois jour et nuit; c'est très dérangeant.

Il y a environ 20 ans, je me promenais seul dans les rues de Montréal et j'étais en sécurité. Mais plus maintenant, car les gangs de rue ont pris le contrôle. Et là, certains organismes et dirigeants de partis politiques, dans le but de se faire élire ou réélire, sont prêts à nous faire reculer de 1 000 ans en arrière ou plus avec des guerres de religion. En Turquie, j'ai visité des tunnels à la Ben Laden, des troglodytes, des maisons creusées dans la pierre et des églises aussi creusées dans la pierre, pour se protéger des autres religions. C'est ce recul que même nos anciens dirigeants veulent nous faire accepter. Je suis convaincu que ces derniers, lorsqu'ils ont visité ces pays, ils sont restés dans les grandes villes.

Je ne peux comprendre que la charte sur la laïcité, ce sera plutôt…que même nos anciens dirigeants veulent nous faire accepter. Je suis convaincu que ces derniers, lorsqu'ils ont visité ces pays, ils sont restés dans les grandes villes. Je ne peux comprendre que la Charte sur la laïcité, ce sera plutôt une charte sur la religion. La religion, ça, ça doit se passer dans les églises, les temples, dans le privé et… car c'est personnel. Si vous êtes obligés de faire des compromis inacceptables, laissez tomber cette charte ou faites-en un enjeu électoral.

Il est possible que la… Est-il possible que la secte du Temple solaire soit de retour parmi nous? Si une personne avec une cagoule a le droit de se promener en public et même de voter aux élections, pourquoi moi, je n'aurais pas le même droit car je suis un métis ou, si vous aimez mieux, un autochtone? Et si on recule dans le temps, nos ancêtres — et moi aussi — on portait une gaine à la hanche — un poignard, si vous voulez — un mouchoir au cou, et nous pouvions relever ce mouchoir à la hauteur des yeux quand nécessaire. Aujourd'hui, un métis ou un autochtone doit prouver ses origines pour avoir des droits au Québec et au Canada. Pourquoi cela n'est pas nécessaire pour les personnes venues d'ailleurs?

Certains se plaignent qu'il y a du racisme au Québec. Eh bien oui, c'est vrai qu'il y en a, mais il provient des groupes qui viennent s'établir au Québec après plusieurs années, refusent de s'intégrer, nos coutumes, notre langue, et même demandent à ce que ce soit nous qui vivent suivant leurs coutumes. Si je vais me faire soigner par une personne supposée d'être un médecin, féminin ou masculin, portant un niqab et que moi aussi j'en porte un, qui sera sous les déguisements? Vous voyez l'aberration, le ridicule que certains politiciens veulent nous faire vivre au Québec?

Je demande à la population du Québec de remettre à leur place les politiciens qui ont perdu le sens des responsabilités qui leur incombe. Et même vous, du Parti québécois, permettre le port du niqab en déguisement dans les rues, c'est inacceptable car qui sera sous ce déguisement, encore une fois?

Présentement, le 11 décembre 2013, vous pouvez consulter la radio internationale de Radio-Canada un reportage sur le centre africain où il y a eu des lynchages, des pillages… appels à la reine… à la haine, excusez, entre chrétiens et musulmans. Aussi, le ministère canadien des Affaires étrangères demande aux Canadiens d'éviter les voyages en République centrafricaine.

Aussi, en Europe, il y a des problèmes avec les religions. La France, l'Allemagne, enfin pratiquement tous les pays. C'est cela que nos dirigeants veulent nous laisser en héritage, à nos enfants et à nos petits-enfants? Moi pas.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs and the great Ugandan donkey fiasco

Jeffrey Sachs had a Big Idea: to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa -- maybe the entire world -- by 2011, or maybe sooner. And why not? After all, the self-celebrated Dr. Sachs had already single-handedly salvaged the economies of Bolivia, Poland and even Russia. (Well, maybe not Russia, so much.)

In his influential bestseller The End of Poverty, he posits that poverty is simply an economic problem that can be solved. So, with single-minded determination, he set out to put his theories into practice, to prove that the world's most destitute people could be lifted onto "the ladder of development".

The proving ground that he chose was Africa, site of most of the world's truly wretched countries. Wisely, he didn't attempt to develop and enrich the whole of the Dark Continent at once. Rather, he launched the Millennium Villages Project, a five-year experiment in bringing progress and prosperity to a handful of impoverished rural communities.

One of the villages selected was Ruhiira, a flyspeck in southwestern Uganda, very near the Heart of Darkness. To organize and manage the Ruhiira operation, Dr. Sachs chose David Siriri, a man of good intentions and credentials -- a Ph.D. in forestry and agronomics, a local person who knew the language and the people.

The team of geniuses working with Dr. Sachs in New York made a plan for Mr. Siriri to follow. What they must do, he was told, is move from the subsistence farming of matoke (bananas) to the commercial farming of crops which could be sold elsewhere in Uganda, or even exported. Cash crops like ginger, cardamom and pineapples. Seriously.

Mr. Siriri told the folks in New York that the proposed crops needed water...lots of water. Ruhiira does have a water source, down in the valley. Unfortunately, the community's shambas (small farms) are on a ridge...about 1000 feet higher.

But Sachs had an answer. (He had an answer for everything!) The good doctor convinced JM Eagle, the world's largest manufacturer of plastic pipes, to donate $150,000 worth of PVC pipes to Ruhiira. They were ready to be shipped, and would be, once someone figured out who was going to pay the $120,000 needed to get them from the USA to rural Uganda.

Of course the pipes would still need to be installed. Unfortunately the Eagle pipes were manufactured to American standards, with American fittings, whereas Uganda uses British standards.

While the boys in New York were wrestling with this problem, the chief of the MVP funding arm came up with his own brilliant solution. Donkeys! Yes!! "Did you know that just four donkeys can carry eight hundred litres at a time?", the NY pointdexter asked Siriri. "We could create water-filling stations at the top of the cliffs and have people collect their water there for a small fee. We'll prove that people can make money on their crops even if they have to pay for water."

In short order, eight donkeys arrived in Ruhiira. Within a couple of months, four of them died of exhaustion. The Eagle pipes were eventually shipped, but the boat carrying them was hijacked by pirates in the Indian ocean, off the coast of Kenya.

A few pineapples were grown, but proved too difficult to store and ship. No cardamom or ginger was ever sold. The small farms of Ruhiira are still growing...wait for it...bananas.

The great Ugandan donkey fiasco is just one of the many examples of the folly of trying to solve Africa's problem with Eurocentric ideas and techniques. Dr. Sachs was informed and guided by western economic ideas centred on the concept of "the rational man". This theory presumes that, given two choices, the rational man will choose the better option, regardless of religious and cultural influences. In Africa, that's simply wrong.

In another Millennium Village, in Dertu (in northeastern Kenya, near the border with Somalia), the local people -- mostly ethnic Somalis, thus Muslim -- refused to build a clinic because, they said, descendants of Ibrahim (Abraham) do not do manual labour. Instead, MVP funds were used to hire ethnic Bantu (black) labourers to do the work while the Somalis sat around and chewed qat.

These stories, and many more, are to be found in The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, by Nina Munk (Signal/M&S 2013). Walt recomments it highly!

With the co-operation of Dr. Sachs -- let's be fair about this -- Ms Munk spent six years reporting on the Millennium Villages Project.
She shadowed Sachs on his trips to Africa, sat in on conversations with heads of state, and interviewed scores of people involved, from high officials right down to illiterate inhabitants of Ruhiira and Dertu. Here's a quote from the second-last paragraph of the book:

"In the beginning, Jeffrey Sachs had set out on a question to validate his scientific approach to ending poverty. He'd used the Millennium Villages Project as a laboratory to test his theories and to prove that his series of 'interventions' could transform the lives of the world's poorest people. He'd spent more than $120 million on his experiment.

"For all that, however, he had misjudged the complex, shifting reality in the villages. Africa is not a laboratory: Africa is chaotic and messy and unpredictable." [My emphasis.]

Walt can add only that the failure -- for that's what it was -- of the MVP experiment is a classic example of "MAWA" -- the short epitaph beloved of old Africa hands: Mother Africa Wins Again.

Further reading on WWW:
"Have you given yet to help Somalia? Don't! "
"Biggest ratholes named and shamed"
"Coming soon - another 'nation' to help"
And there's much, much more! Use the search tool to check the posts with the "foreign aid" tag. And can't help those who won't help themselves!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Today's special in Central Africa: Muslims! Deeeelicious!

As the year 2013 passed into history -- not a moment too soon, either -- Walt posted "Chaos in the CAR: an African mess gets messier", about the sectarian warfare in the Central African Republic.

In spite of the accompanying picture of an attractive Ubangi, not many people read that post. Muslims are killing Christians, Christians are killing Muslims, and no-one seems to give a skit. [Eh? Ed.]

So here we are, two weeks later, and the situation has gotten uglier. According to Associated Press and CBCNews, some of the Christians are not just killing, but eating the followers of the Prophet.

In the CAR's capital, Bangui, a Christian mob killed a Muslim man, says the CBC's Paul Wood, and one of them publicly ate from the dead man’s charred flesh. That's "charred", not "boiled", so the old cartoon image is not valid in today's Africa.

Walt regrets not having access to a video shot by bystanders, which appears to show a charred body being dragged through the street while the crowd cheered. Another video shows the mob leader, identified as Wanja Mogloire, eating one of the dead man’s legs, his cheeks full to bulging. When these videos appear on YouTube, we'll certainly bring them to you.

M. Magloire told Wood that what he did has made him famous as "Mad Dog Magloire". His motive, he said, was revenge for the killing by Muslims of several members of his family.

The CBCNews report goes on to say that, while most Christians were horrified by the "apparent" act of cannibalism, some viewed M. Magloire as a hero, shaking his hand and patting his head.

Walt feels the whole episode may have been misunderstood by those unfamiliar with African ways. It may well have started as an exercise in drawing members of both faiths together. "I know what... Let's have some Muslims in for dinner."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random House Canada fails high school English

Ed. here. Since the blog belongs to me today, my words will appear in Roman letters, not italics. [Italics are mine. Walt.] Ahem... The blog is mine because the topic is proper English, knowledge of which seems to be lacking even at venerable publishing houses such as Random House Canada, part of the vast [or half-vast] organization known simply as Random House, "the world's largest English language trade publisher".

Things being a little slow here, I checked Random House's Canadian and international websites under "careers", thinking perhaps they would be looking for editors or at least proofreaders. Apparently not.

But why would I think there might be such a vacancy? Because I have just finished reading Peter Newman's When the Gods Changed: the Death of Liberal Canada (RHC, 2011) which appears to have been published without any proofing beyond what might have been done by a spell-check utility.

The quality of the output is, frankly, shocking. Errors of vocabulary, grammar, spelling and even punctuation abound. Here are some of them, shown in bold, with page numbers so you can check for yourself.

Before the "Introduction", there are two untitled pages which I suppose might be called a preface. On p. xii we find "This incidence of non-recognition..." Arrrggghhhh. Didn't we just post "'Incidents' vs 'incidence' -- what's the difference?". Oh wait, that was just this past July -- too late for Mr. Newman. [But he's even older than I am. He should know better! Walt]

Page 71 - "each new wave of Grits hot off the grittle" - I'm hoping this is not a spelling error, but an intentional neologism, a play on "Grits" which is slang for (Canadian) Liberals.

Page 80 - "until the midfifties" - "mid-fifties", surely, or possibly "mid-50s".

Page 102 - "waking a spectacular international decision" - How do you "wake" a decision? Perhaps Mr. Newman writes in longhand and the typesetter can't tell his M's from his W's.

Page 164 - "humming 'Il a perdu son epaulettes'" - Should be either "ses épaulettes" or "son épaulette". If you don't speak French, don't try to write it and expect an anglophone proofreader to fix it for you.

Page 224 - "'We're looking at a growing gap between the successive previous generation of immigrants like my dad, and the generation coming in from Africa and Asia.'" - Supposedly quoting Michael Ignatieff. What is a "successive previous generation"? Did Iggy actually say "successful"?

Page 236 - " send the matters to their respective parliamentary committees for consideration; he committees found..." - Missing a T there, but the spell-checker wouldn't catch that.

Page 242 - "After the first week of the campaign, Ignatieff's approval rating jump from nineteen percent to twenty-five percent..." - Tense trouble.

Page 256 - "[The Conservatives]...came under the leadership of nineteen individuals, many of whom gave anonymity of big boost." - What does this mean?

Page 264 - "To shift the burden of justified criticism on to his shoulders..." - Should be "onto", and yes, there is such a preposition.

Page 266 - "aimed at demoralizing Michael Ignatieff" - Supposedly from a "partial transcript" of an interview with Peter Donolo. My guess is Donolo said "demonizing", not "demoralizing", although Ignatieff probably was demoralized.

Noted twice - a member of a municipal council would be a "councilor" in the USA, but a "councillor" in Canada.

And finally, the piece of resistance (as Mr. Newman might have said)... Page 218 - "There has been a hard edge in the Conservative's pursuit of national competitiveness..." GAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Does he really mean just one Conservative? No, this is clearly an apostrophe error, committed by Mr. Newman [who should know better. Walt] or an editor or proofreader who doesn't know how to construct a plural as opposed to a possessive.

Those at Random House or elsewhere large who weren't paying attention in Grade 8 English should read "Apostrophe Catastrophe" and "Let's kill the apostrophe ???". You're welcome.

Short book review from Walt: Leaving aside the problems with English usage noted by Ed., is When the Gods Changed worth reading? No. Fifty years ago, when he wrote for Maclean's and authored Renegade in Power (about the Diefenbaker years), Peter Newman was a crackerjack political commentator.

His last opus was supposed to be about the making of a prime minister. Such was the working title. Sadly for him (and RHC) Ignatieff led the Liberals to the worst defeat in their history, and quickly resigned. Mr. Newman was left with under 300 pages (including generous leading) of shoulda/woulda/coulda. The book is proof positive that even a skilled writer can't make something out of nothing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reflections of an old pilot

Ed. here. Today we turn the blog over to Agent 17's old buddy, Terry. Terry is 80 years old and flew the Meteor, Vampire, Canberra, Argonaut, VC10, 747 and 777 -- amongst others! He was a BOAC/BA training captain, and later flew for Virgin and SIA. He writes...

An Old Pilot's Reflections - (Only pilots can truly relate to these.)

· Pilots are people who drive airplanes for other people who can't.

· Passengers are people who say they fly, but really just ride.

· Fighter pilots are steely eyed, weapons systems managers who kill bad people and break things. However, they can also be very charming and personable. The average fighter pilot, despite sometimes having a swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy and caring. (However, these feelings don't involve anyone else.)

· Flying is a hard way to earn an easy living.

· Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane; the pessimist, the parachute.

· Death is just nature's way of telling you to watch your airspeed.

· As a pilot only two bad things can happen to you (and one of them will):
a. One day you will walk out to the aircraft, knowing it is your last flight.
b. One day you will walk out to the aircraft, not knowing it is your last flight.

· There are rules and there are laws:
The rules are made by men who think that they know how to fly your airplane better than you.
The laws (of physics) were ordained by God.
You can and sometimes should suspend the rules, but you can never suspend the laws.

· About Rules:
a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better idea and the talent to execute it.
b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance (e.g., if you fly under a bridge, don't hit the bridge.)

· Before each flight, make sure that your bladder is empty and your fuel tanks are full.

· He who demands everything that his aircraft can give him is a pilot; he who demands one iota more is a fool.

· There are certain aircraft sounds that can only be heard at night and over the ocean. Most of them are scary.

· The aircraft limits are only there in case there is another flight by that particular aircraft. If subsequent flights do not appear likely, there are no limits.

· "If the Wright brothers were alive today, Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs." (President, DELTA Airlines.)

· In the Alaskan bush, I'd rather have a two-hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.

· An old pilot is one who can remember when flying was dangerous and sex was safe.

· Airlines have really changed; now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant.

· I've flown in both pilot seats. Can someone tell me why the other one is always occupied by an idiot?

· And my favourite: You have to make up your mind about growing up and becoming a pilot. You can't do both.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Third Secret of Fatima document genuine, BUT...

In today's "Vatican Insider" blog of La Stampa, noted Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli reports that a respected Portuguese paleographer has confirmed the authenticity of the document said to containn the famous Third Secret of Fatima. But, he notes, questions remain as to whether the "vision of the bishop in white" text released by the Vatican in 2000 is the complete document.

Professor Maria José Azevedo Santos, of Coimbra University, examined the document, which is held in the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and proclaimed it "a genuine, true document, written by Sister Lucia" (the principal Seer of Fatima). Although the document is not signed, Doctor Santos said that the handwriting clearly matched other writings known to be in Sister Lucia's own hand.

The document became the focus of controversy immediately on its publication in 2000. The version shown and "interpreted" by since disgraced Cardinal Bertone described a vision of a bishop dressed in white, seen being killed by soldiers in front of a cross on top of a hill. The text contains no words of Our Lady of Fatima to explain the vision.

Cardinal Bertone said the Third Secret belonged to the past, and implied that the vision referred to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. The late pope said he recognized himself as the "bishop dressed in white" who was killed, but did not even attempt to explain how, if this was the case, he was still alive. Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, told journalists there was no "official explanation".

However, when he visited Fatima in 2010 as Benedict XVI, the "Pope Emeritus" was more cautious in his comments, suggesting strongly the possibility of the prophesy not yet being complete. For more on this astonishing volte-face, see "Vindication: The Latest Chapter in the Story of Fatima", which references the best book on the controversy, Christopher Ferrara's The Secret Still Hidden.

You can buy The Secret Still Hidden from the Fatima Shoppe ($9.95) -- tell them Walt sent you -- or read it free online.

Young Americans and foreigners disillusioned with Obama: imagine that!

In the current Economist, "Lexington" has a few words to say about what he calls the abolition of privacy in the USA. "Cyber-spying", the columnist writes "hardly dominates national debate" in America. He (or she) says the National Security Agency's snooping into every corner of our personal lives -- Americans and foreigners, VIPs and ordinary folks, rich and poor, anyone and everyone -- seems not to concern Americans, perhaps because they've become resigned to it.

But it should! "Lexington" continues:

Young Americans and foreigners...have made parallel journeys towards disappointment.... Young Americans and foreigners of all ages, notably in Europe, fell heavily for Mr Obama, thinking him a break with politics as usual. Both groups have had high hopes dashed....

Start with Mr Obama's foreign fans. There was always a dose of naivety to their zeal, not to mention clunking racial tokenism. Many Europeans mistakenly assumed that because Mr Obama opposed the policies of George W. Bush and so did they, he would be in some sense their president too. Now they have learned their lesson: their idol is, first and foremost, America's leader.

Mr Obama also faces domestic fallout. His approval ratings among young Americans fell markedly in 2013, making a once-loyal age cohort look more like other adult Americans.... Mr O bama needs the young to believe in government solutions.... Instead, the NSA saga has given America's most tech-savvy generation fresh reason for cynicism.

At home and abroad, Mr Obama can ill-afford this latest loss of faith.

Thanks to Agent 34 for sending the cartoon comment.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pope Francis worries about children of divorced and gay couples

If you feel a little light-headed today, it could be because the world is turning upside down. What was normal is now abnormal, and vice versa. And I do mean vice.

Last week the husband of an Ontario politician died. The politician was a great friend of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, the proud lesbian, and a former member of the province's too-Liberal government. His [sic]name is George Smitherman. Walt doesn't know whether to call him "Mr" or "Ms". What do you call the, errr, "female" half of a homosexual "marriage"? How do you even tell which is which? Maybe it depends who's on top.

What about the children? Curious George and his late "husband" had kids, albeit from a previous "straight" marriage entered into by one of them before he decided he was gay. [How come we call them "gay", rather than "homosexual"? Is "homosexual" the new n-word. Ed.] But under Ontario's progressive family laws, they could have adopted a child, a nice little boy perhaps.

Shouldn't society as a whole, and the Church in particular, be doing something special for the children of gay couples? According to Agence France Presse, that's the concern that's at the top of the mind [forgive the overstatement. Ed.] of Francis the Party Pope.

The Holy Father has called for a rethink in the way the Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced-and-remarried parents, lest they feel rejected because the Church considers there might be something wrong with their parents' relationship. (Whether this is still Church teaching is debatable, thanks to the confusion caused by Francis' quasi-magisterial interviews.)

In a speech to the Catholic Union of Superiors-General, published on Saturday, the Pope said, "On an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult to understand." No arguing with that. But, he added, family make-ups are also changing. "I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher, 'My mother’s girlfriend doesn’t love me.'" Cazart! How awful! The poor kid has only one mommy instead of two!

The pontiff told the educational leaders "We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith" to the children of gay and divorced couples. Walt thinks it a pity that there's no vaccine against sexual depravity...or stupidity.

Pope Francis, the darling of "progressive thinkers" and the LGBT crowd for his willingness to "embrace diversity" -- "Who am I to judge?" -- has also called an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops next year to discuss the Church’s position with regard to the family. The gathering is expected to address inter alia the "problem" of divorced Catholics remarrying and of the children of divorced parents.

Comment from John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News:

With the extensive rot crumbling the Church? Heterodox theologians in positions of influence? "Catholic" universities where our children’s faith is destroyed rather than buttressed, lunatic and scandalous liturgies, tens of thousands of parents who have to homeschool at great personal sacrifice because we can’t trust the curriculum our own bishops give us, "Catholic" politicians who support contraception, abortion and homosexuality and remain Catholics “in good standing”, catastrophic worldwide doctrinal confusion among the faithful... this is what is important to Francis?

This is delirium straight from the sickbed! He is truly a "Martini" pope, as this is the type of thing that was important to the radical Martini, all in the name of "compassion".

Sunday, January 5, 2014

CBC's "The House" reviews the Wrights and wrongs of l'affaire Duffy

Note from Ed.: This item is of interest only to Canadian political junkies. This does not include Ted Cruz, who is surely a political junkie and a Canadian (as of this writing) but we didn't mean it that way. If you're not fascinated by Canadian politics -- that's what we meant -- wait until tomorrow and we'll have something else.

This week's edition of CBC Radio's fine political programme, The House, was devoted entirely to the ongoing scandal over repayment by Nigel Wright -- formerly Chief of Staff to Canuck Prime Minister Steve "Stephen" Harper -- of expenses fraudulently claimed by the Honourable [sic] Mike "Mike" Duffy, the once and future senator from Prince Edward Island... or possibly Kanata, which is where Mr. Puffy lives.

The radio programme is well worth listening to in its entirety (about 52 minutes). It focuses on court documents filed by the Mounties in the course of their investigation into the scandal. You'll hear excerpts from a number of damning e-mails, read by actors portraying Mr. Right ["Wright", surely! Ed.] and others, as well as the Puffster's mendacious and self-serving speeches in the Senate.

Radio-Canada Ottawa bureau chief Emmanuelle Latraverse and CBC senior political correspondent Terry Milewski -- Walt likes Milewski a lot -- join host Evan Solomon for the journey and give their analysis of what it all means.

Before you listen, if this is all kind of new to you -- or if your eyes glazed over back in May or June -- you might take a look at Walt's previous posts on the subject:
"VIDEO: Rex hexes Canadian pols"
"Canucks too polite for their own good?"
"Print your own Duffybuck!"
"Emotional and over-refreshed, Senator Puffy denies having his snout too deep in the trough"
"Wright was wrong! Wright is gone! But WHY?!"
"'Bring me the head of Senator Duffy!'"
"Moron* Mike Puffy"
[That's enough Duff stuff. Ed.]

Friday, January 3, 2014

15 stupid warnings

Walt is reaching deep -- about 10 years deep -- into the slush pile for this one, but it gave me a chuckle on a day with little to chuckle about, so.... In case you needed further proof that the human race has fallen into a deep and abiding stupidity, here are some warnings from the labels of assorted consumer goods.

1. On a Sears hair dryer: "Do not use while sleeping." [Gee, that's the only time I have to work on my hair!]

2. On a bag of Fritos: "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside." [Evidently, the shoplifter special.]

3. On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap." [And that would be how?]

4. On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestions: Defrost." [But it's *just* a suggestion.]

5. On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of box): "Do not turn upside down." [Oops, too late!]

6. On Marks and Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating." [As sure as night follows the day.]

7. On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body." [But wouldn't this save even more time?]

8. On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine: "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication." [We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5-year-olds with head colds off those forklifts.]

9. On Nytol Sleep Aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness." [One would hope.]

10. On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only." [As opposed to what?]

11. On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use." [I gotta admit, I'm curious.]

12. On Sainsbury's peanuts: "Warning: Contains nuts." [NEWS FLASH!]

13. On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: open packet, eat nuts." [Step 3: Fly Delta.]

14. On a child's Superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly". [I don't blame the company. I do blame parents for this one!]

15. On a Swedish chain saw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals". [Was there a chance of this happening somewhere? Good grief!]

Enough snow, already!

No news or commentary today. We're a little under the weather... literally!

Thanks to Agent 6.