Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mark Steyn talks about Benedict Cumberbatch, coloured people and pro-LGBT sex education as child abuse

Just a heads-up so you don't miss Mark Steyn's in-studio appearance (Tuesday) with John Oakley on Toronto's AM640 talkfest. Mr. Steyn was in Toronto to promote his new book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. Walt is awaiting a review copy from the publisher, but if it doesn't arrive soon will order one (autographed) no less, from Mr. Steyn's website.

On the way to the book signing, Mr. Steyn discussed with his radio host a number of matters of current interest, including the enforced public recanting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who accidentally referred to people of colour as "coloured people", or vice-versa. Of particular interest to parents with children in Ontario schools will be his remarks on the so-called "sex education" curriculum being pushed by Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's lesbian premier. Mr. Steyn calls it "the appalling and evil hyper-sexualization of childhood as a matter of state policy". Wow!

Click here to listen. And if you want to buy The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, here's the link. Tell `em Walt sent ya!

Mugabe not a "goblin", sez Chief Justice of Zimbabwe

One of these critters is a goblin. The other one...isn't. So says the Honourable Godfrey Chidyausiku, Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, in a statement on the case against former Nyanga North Member of Parliamet Douglas Mwonzora, who stands accused of labelling President Robert Mugabe a “goblin” during a rally held in Nyanga in 2009.

The judge wanted Zimbabwe's state prosecutors to explain whether it was constitutional for the State to prosecute politicians for calling the Head of State "Gamatox"* or "weevil" while addressing political rallies.

"Politicians call each other names such as weevils and Gamatox, are you suggesting that you prosecute people for that?" Mr. Justice Chidyausiku asked.

"If somebody calls the President a weevil or Gamatox, are you going to prosecute that person? It is part of the trade of politics. Why are you bringing such matters to the Constitutional Court? The President is not a goblin and we all know that. Why should the law bother itself about it? You have to be an imbecile to believe that the President is a goblin."

But, the State prosecutor replied, Mr. Mwonzora’s labelled the Head of State a goblin which "feeds on human blood". (Walt can't tell what's on the plate in the picture, but it doesn't look like blood.)

"The statement causes ridicule to the President who is viewed as a monster, bad person who causes problems and feeds on human blood," the prosecutor went on. "This is why the State insists that the statement constitutes an offence."

However, counsel for the accused argued, Mr. Mwonzora’s statements did not constitute an offence, but were subjective and meaningless since Mugabe was not a goblin.

In the same speech, Mr. Mwonzora is alleged to have castigated Comrade Bob's alleged bad governance, thieving, arrest of innocent individuals and the seizure of their property. The State prosecutor has chosen not to focus on that part.

* "Gamatox" is the brand name of an insecticide sold in Zimbabwe.

VIDEO: Introducing Walt's "Commie" awards for TV commercials

Looks like a lot of you are enjoying the "Cavemen" commercial created by the Montréal advertising agency Bleublancrouge for Olex.

Walt has praised a couple of creative and entertaining commercials in the past. 11 months ago I saluted the creators of The "Nissan's excellent 'Evil Snowmen' commercial" -- agency titles "Guerrier de l'hiver"/"Winter warrior".

If we're going to keep doing this, maybe we should have some kind of a prize. What should we call it? I've got it! How about the Commie -- short for "commercial", geddit?

But we really should have more than two contenders for our inaugural award. Agent 3 recommends this commercial for a fine Canadian cheese called "Oka". I like this spot a lot.

Walt regrets not being able to give you the agency credits. Anyone with this information should send it to the usual e-mail address.

Not everyone has expressed admiration for this commercial. I've seen complaints (on YouTube and elsewhere) that it stereotypes French-Canadians, and tourists from Ontario. I disagree. The actor playing the waiter speaks with an accent which is more Parisian than pure laine Québécois. As for the "tourists", although they're not quite spherical enough, I think they're meant to be Americans!

Afterthought: Yes, yes, I know the Superbowl is coming up, and everyone's going to be looking at the idiot's lantern to see the commercials. Not the football game, but the commercials! That tells you something right there. There are even commercials on the air right now promoting the commercials! You're welcome to nominate for a Commie any of the clever commercials you'll see on the weekend, but the point of this post is to make the world aware that a lot of creative TV advertising is being done outside the USA.

MH370 officially "an accident"; take the money and STFU

"We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident... and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives." That's the party line, given out yesterday by Azharuddin Abdul Raham, Director-General of Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation.

That clears the way for the airline to pay compensation to the next-of-kin of the 239 people who went down with the plane. Mr. Azharuddin said the airline would start the compensation process immediately. Whether the payoff money would come from the airline or its insurers would not made clear, raising the question (in Walt's mind) of whether the insurers accept the official explanation.

Meanwhile -- again according to Mr. Azharuddin -- the search for the plane goes on. You haven't heard much about that since the search, in the southeastern quadrant of the Indian Ocean, 1000s of miles off the airliner's scheduled route, has yet to turn up Clue One.

Why the Boeing 777 should have veered so far off course is also said to be the subject of an international investigation. And -- get this -- Mr. Azharuddin says that Malaysia is also conducting a criminal investigation!

A criminal investigation? Really? Into what, if the disappearance of MH370 was indeed an accident? Could we have some details please? Without any bodies or even a shred of the supposed MH370 wreckage, what clues have the Malaysian investigators uncovered? Who are they talking to? Have they asked the US military what they know? Have they visited the US military base at Diego Garcia?

Why do I ask those questions? Because I believe, as do many aviation experts, that MH370 was flying west-northwest, towards Diego Garcia, after it was last "seen" by radar, and either crashed or was shot down somewhere in the vicinity of the Maldives. See "MH370 - Just fancy that!", posted on WWW just before Christmas.

Until the Malaysian government (or anyone else) produces at least a scintilla of evidence that MH370 flew 1000s of miles in the opposite direction before plunging into the briny depths, I take Mr. Azharuddin's statement as one of policy -- "politics" is a better word -- not of fact.

As for the compensation to be paid to the victims' families, I call it hush money. Take the money and stop asking questions!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

VIDEO: Olex caveman commercial, in ENGLISH

Ed. here. I've been in Walt's doghouse -- damn cold out there too -- for not having found the English version of the too funny "Cavemen" commercial, created by Montréal advertising agency Bleublancrouge [They've gotta be Habs fans! Poor Len] for Olex, a brand of antacid. Here it is.

And here are the credits: Creative Directors: Gaëtan Namouric, Jonathan Rouxel; Art Director: Sébastien Lafaye; Copywriters: Maxime Paiement, Crystal Béliveau.
Well done, folks!

If you want to see the French version, Hommes des cavernes, you'll find the link in "Funniest. Caveman. Commercial... Ever!", right here on WWW.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Worst blizzard in the history of New York City" - LMAO

New York Mayor Warren Wilhelm Jr. -- that's DeBlasio's real name -- warned of the "historic snowfall" that was about to descend on his city. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- aka Christie the Clown -- warned people to stay off the roads lest they be trapped in their cars. States of emergency were declared in advance of the impending "Snowmageddon" -- a word which was used sparingly, but used all the same. And in Rome, the Pope was adding a couple of references to his encyclical on the theologically fraught question of global warming.

And then... ... nothing happened! Or at least, nothing that a Canadian suburbanite couldn't handle with shovel. But New York and New Jersey aren't in Canada. [Tanks God for dat! Poor Len.] They are in the Paranoid States of America, where there is no such thing as a minor inconvenience. Everything that happens in America -- especially New York -- is the biggest and best... or worst... as the case may be.

Walt recommends that Messrs DeBlasio and Christie take a trip today -- now that the airports are open again! -- to someplace like Fargo, where the real snow is and where the real people are. That's the real America!  

Note from Ed.: Even with the intervention of Poor Len, this is a bit short. So let's fill some space with a little-known fact, which has nothing to do with blizzards or effete Easterners. The decibel was named for the famous British-American-Canadian (depending on who you ask) inventor, Sir Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. [Really? I thought Don Ameche invented the telephone. Walt]

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wise words about liberty from Mark Twain

Walt stumbled upon this quote from the great American writer and humorist, Mark Twain.

I believe we ought to retain all our liberties. We can't afford to throw them away. They didn't come to us in a night. The trouble with us in America is that we haven't learned to speak the truth. We have thrown away the most valuable asset we have -- the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when by one's self we believe them to be in the wrong.

Got that? Don't call Ron Paul, Mark Steyn, Matt Taibbi, Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Friedman et al. [Who's Al? Ed.] unpatriotic. Count them, instead, among those who refuse to utter the mindless shibboleth "My country, right or wrong!"

Footnote: Walt must add to the list of those who dare to point out that the Emperor -- read: the Prez -- has no clothes, the name of Michelle Malkin. See "Obama’s bloody Yemen disaster" for her take on the latest failure of US foreign policy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Quit pretending, Mr. Obama! The problem IS with radical Islam!

Every now and then -- quite often, actually -- someone makes a point so well that there's nothing I can do except republish it. To put it in my own words, or even add any editorial comment, is pointless. Such is the case with an op-ed piece by Thomas L. Friedman in today's New York Times.

In "Say It Like It Is", Mr. Friedman asks why President Obarmy and his flak-catchers can't bring themselves to call the terrorists who shot up Charlie Hebdo, a school in Parkistan, an entire village in Nigeria, and so on (to be continued) what they are -- radical Islamists. Here are some excerpts.

When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble. And this administration, so fearful of being accused of Islamophobia, is refusing to make any link to radical Islam from the recent explosions of violence against civilians (most of them Muslims) by Boko Haram in Nigeria, by the Taliban in Pakistan, by Al Qaeda in Paris and by jihadists in Yemen and Iraq. We’ve entered the theater of the absurd.

President Obama knows better. I am all for restraint on the issue, and would never hold every Muslim accountable for the acts of a few. But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community. It is coming mostly, but not exclusively, from angry young men and preachers on the fringe of the Sunni Arab and Pakistani communities in the Middle East and Europe.

If Western interventions help foster violent Islamic reactions, we should reduce them. To the extent that Muslim immigrants in European countries feel marginalized, they and their hosts should worker harder on absorption. But both efforts will only take you so far.

Something else is also at work, and it needs to be discussed. It is the struggle within Arab and Pakistani Sunni Islam over whether and how to embrace modernity, pluralism and women’s rights. That struggle drives, and is driven by, the dysfunctionality of so many Arab states and Pakistan.

It has left these societies with too many young men who have never held a job or a girl’s hand, who then seek to overcome their humiliation at being left behind, and to find identity, by “purifying” their worlds of other Muslims who are not sufficiently pious and of Westerners whom they perceive to be putting Muslims down. But you don’t see this in the two giant Muslim communities in Indonesia or India.

Only Sunni Arabs and Pakistanis can get inside their narrative and remediate it. But reformers can only do that if they have a free, secure political space. If we’re not going to help create space for that internal dialogue, let’s just be quiet. Don’t say stupid stuff.

Walt particularly likes the first sentence of the third excerpted paragraph. That's what I've been saying right from the inception of WWW. That's what Ron Paul has been saying, again and again and again. We have no business meddling in the Middle East! If the Sunni Muslims want to fight it out with the Shi'ites to see who's holier... let `em. It's not worth a cent of our treasure or a drop of our blood.

Further reading on WWW: "Western leaders finally admit Muslims are waging jihad against us"

Short video worth watching: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority - Ben Shapiro (who may just have an axe to grind) presents the numbers that expose the lie that the PC media (and the Prez) keep repeating.

VIDEO: Funniest. Caveman. Commercial... Ever!

Walt has seen caveman commercials -- ads featuring a caveman or cavemen -- before. Geico had a series of them. There was one for Doritos during the Super Bowl. So it's not like using actors dressed in skins to pitch your product is something new. But this new one, for Olex (a brand of antacid) is the best recreation of an old gag that I've ever seen.

Yes, yes... I know it's in French. [Then you should say "Oui, oui..." Ed.] There is an English version but I haven't found a site from which to rip it. For the benefit of the linguistically challenged, the tag line -- spoken by the more-evolved caveman as he answers his clamshell telephone -- is: "No reception. I'm in a cave!"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

VIDEO: Better than Obama's "State of the Union"

Walt has recovered now -- only just -- from watching the Prez deliver his incredibly self-serving State of the Union address. Words fail me... or almost. It was like watching an aging rock star, long past his best-by date, trying to explain why he was famous in the first place.

The crises have passed, Mr. Obarmy told Americans. Financial crisis? The US national debt has increased by $[Ed., how many zeros in a trillion?] in the six years of his "stewardship", but there's no crisis.

Two wars are over, the Prez said. Last time I looked (this morning) Americans were still in combat against Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, in the same country (Iraq) to which the USA brought peace just last year. If Mr. O (as in Zero) wants to take credit for ending two wars, he should also accept responsibility for starting a new one.

But nooooo... "Nothing here to see, folks. Everything's fine now. Praise be to me." Pass the barf bag.

As an antidote and reality check, Walt is pleased to embed Ron Paul's address on "The State of Liberty 2015". Running time is just under 54 minutes. It must be admitted that Mr. Paul is not easy to listen to. He reads from his text at the speed of Clem McCarthy calling the Kentucky Derby. But if you want to know the real state of the Union, you'll listen to every word.

Please... if you think Ron Paul's voice needs to be heard, if you love liberty and the United States of America, sign the petition to ask Mr. Paul to stand for the presidency, once again. It's not too late!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

African refugee, disguised as white man, hijacks car, robs two banks, gets to stay in Canada

Here's a true story (ripped from Canada's National Post) from the Great No-longer-white North.

An Edmonton man admitted in court yesterday that he committed a carjacking and two quick bank robberies while wearing a mask so realistic that witnesses described him as white man, even though he was (and still is) black.

A year ago, Solomon Zemichael Teklie -- an Ethiopian admitted to Canada as a refugee -- carjacked a woman at an Edmonton mall, held up a bank at another mall, and then a second bank a couple of miles down the road, before being pulled over and arrested by police.

Crown prosecutor Carrie-Ann Downey told the court, "I don’t know where this mask was made, I don’t know where it came from, but it’s uncanny how much it looks like a real person. It was so realistic that each witness on this file thought that Mr. Teklie was white." In case the judge was blind, Ms Downey added, "He is not white."

Ms Downey went on to describe the cimes as "a planned spree". "Mr. Teklie had a plan," she said. "It might not have been a good plan, but it was a plan." So what was the plan? In a police interview, Mr. Teklie told officers he was addicted to cocaine and hoped to be deported to someplace warmer than Canada's north.

Gee, would that work? Errr, maybe not. Defence counsel Deborah Hatch said Mr. Teklie, born in Ethiopia, came to Canada after being in a Kenyan refugee camp for years. Canada's compassionate [foolish, surely! Ed.] immigration department made him a permanent resident. Now, due to his lack of documents, he is technically stateless and may not be deported after he serves his sentence.

Is further comment needed? I think not. That's all ye know and all ye need to know.

Footnote: Oops! That's not all ye need to know.  Ye need to know that Canada's caring, compassionate, "Conservative" government plans to admit between 25,000 and 30,000 under its "humanitarian" immigration programmes. Between 10,300 and 13,000 of them will be refugees. Slightly over half of those will be "government-assisted". The overwhelming majority of them will be Muslims from the Middle East and Africa.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Canuck "trainers" fired on in Iraq -- just fancy that!

Memories are short, particularly in Steve Harper's Canada -- the more so now that everyone's in a big flap over ISIS, "homegrown" Islamic militants, Charlie Hebdo and what have you. Canadians seem to have forgotten why the government of Jean Chrétien, Harper's antipenultimate predecessor, refused to join in the American invasion of Iraq. It was quite simple, really. If they had done so, Canadians would have been killed (and millions of beaverbucks spent) in an unwinable and pointless conflict.

Dubya was pissed, though, so he called in M Chrétien's marker -- "Sorry. Maybe next time." -- when the US made the same mistake twice in a decade and invaded Afghanistan. The Canadians, along with the Brits, the Dutch and other running dogs of American imperialism [Hey, watch it! McCarthy might rise from the dead! Ed.] went into the sandpit right behind the Americans, with predictable results for all concerned. Canada lost 158 young men and women -- not much compared with the 1000s lost by the US, but a lot for a small country with a very small army.

Prime Minister Harpoon, however, is not quite as daft or insensitive to public opinion as President Obarmy. Having prolonged the mission twice, in the face of growing popular disapproval, he ended Canada's participation in the Afghanistan fiasco in March of 2014. See "Mission accomplished? Taliban, al-Qaeda still blowing up Afghans".

Well, errr, almost.... He did leave behind about 1000 Canadian troops, who, he told credulous Canucks, wouldn't actually be fighting, but only acting as "trainers and advisors" to the Afghan national army. And, when called upon by the Prez for a little help with the US reinvasion of Iraq, Mr. Harper responded "Ready, aye ready!" and sent some Canadian trainers there too.

The consequences this time weren't quite so foreseeable. Who'd have thought that two good Canadian boys -- Muslims by conversion and fanatics for whatever reason -- would have dared to attack Canadian soldiers right on Steve's doorstep? Even worse, one of them had the temerity to storm into the Parliament Building itself, gunning for the PM, who quickly ducked into a closet. But that's what happened. See "Harper's Islamic chickens come home to roost".

But let's get back to the fate of the Canadian (and American) trainers still stuck in the Middle East. Walt has said before, and will say again, that the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS and other Muslim jihadists, don't recognize the difference between non-combatant trainers and the soldiers who are actually shooting at them. If you've got a uniform on, you're a target, no matter whose flag is on your shoulder! Even the guys you're supposed to be helping may take a potshot at you. See "Iraqi army trainees kill US trainers -- FAIL!"

The trainers referred to in that post were Americans, in Iraq. But, Canadians were told, that wouldn't happen to their boys. Members of Her Majesty's armed forces were not hated the way that Americans are. Canadian troops were not being put in harm's way. And if you believed that, Mr. Harper would appreciate your vote when he decides to call an election.

Yeah. Right! Today, a Canadian general finally fessed up to the fact that Canadian "special forces" in Iraq came under ISIS fire sometime last week, when they went to the front lines following a "planning session" with senior Iraqi leaders. Brigadier-General Michael Rouleau, commander of the Canadian special operations forces command, said the forces came under "immediate and effective mortar fire" and responded with sniper fire, "neutralizing the mortar and the machine-gun position."

Gee. Who'd have thought such a thing would happen? Walt -- that's who! Better ship over some body bags. They'll be needed, one of these days. Lifetime pct .989.

Worth reading: "Were Canadians misled about the mission in Iraq?" in Maclean's. Walt decries the use of the passive voice in the headline. IMHO it should read "Did Harper mislead Canadians about the mission in Iraq?" Answer: of course!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A little Middle Eastern humour

Agent 9, taking a breather after a busy Christmas and New Year's season, sends the following dialogue between an IS jihadist and one of the few remaining Jews in the Levant (outside of Israel).

A fleeing ISIS terrorist, desperate for water, was plodding through the desert of eastern Syria, when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward what he feared might be a mirage, only to find a very small, very frail, very old Jewish man, standing at a small makeshift display rack -- selling ties.

"Do you have water?", asked the jihadist.

"I have no water," replied the Jew. "Would you like to buy a tie? Only $5."

The terrorist shouted hysterically, "Idiot Infidel! I do not need such an over-priced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water!"

"Sorry, I have none... just ties... pure silk. And only $5!"

"Pahh! A curse on your ties! I should wrap one around your scrawny neck and choke the life out of you... but I must conserve my energy and find water!"

"Okay," said the little old Jewish man. "It does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie from me or that you hate me, threaten my life and call me infidel. I will show you that I am bigger than any of that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a restaurant. It has the finest food and all the ice-cold water you need. Go in peace."

Cursing the Jew again, the desperate Muslim staggered away, over the hill. Several hours later, he crawled back, almost dead, and said, "I found the place, but... they won't let me in without a tie!"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Professor behind Ontario's pro-gay sex education curriculum to plead guilty to child porn charges

Sometimes poor Walt just can't get a day off. I should know better than to see what's giving on the mojo wire, but it's good I did so today, otherwise I might have missed an item about University of Toronto Professor Benjamin Levin, the self-satisfied pervert pictured here.

I'd almost forgotten about Prof. Levin. He was last mentioned in this space eighteen months ago, after being charged with accessing child pornography, possessing child pornography, making child pornography, distributing child pornography, counselling to commit an indictable offence and agreeing to or arranging for a sexual offence against a child under 16. That's seven (count `em, 7) charges in all.

It wouldn't have been a big deal -- there are lots of paedophiles and kiddie porn lovers out there -- except for the fact that Prof. Levin once held the post of Deputy Minister of Education minister in Ontario's Liberal government, and was one of the chief architects of Ontario's proposed "modernized and improved" (read: pro-LGBT) sex education curriculum. See "Are perverts pushing Ontario's sex education curriculum? Could be!"

Following cries of outrage from old-fashioned (read: straight) parents, the new curriculum was quietly withdrawn "for further study", even before Prof. Levin embarrassed proud lesbian Kathleen Wynne, then the Minister of Education and latterly Premier of Ontario, by getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar... so to speak.

Prof. Levin denied the charges and was freed on bail, to be further dealt with according to the law at some time in the future... as far as possible into the future. He was relieved of his duties at the aptly-named Queen's Park, and dropped out of sight.

Fast forward to last November. Prof. Levin, still free on bail, has every reason to look pleased with himself when, following the surprising re-election of her very liberal government, Premier Wynne announces that the not-so-new sex education curriculum will be reintroduced. See "Pro-LGBT sex ed coming back to Ontario schools".

Vindication at last for Prof. Levin and the forces of progress, tolerance and so on. Unfortunately, his friends at the Pink Palace were unable to arrange for the charges against him to be dropped, and a trial date was set for March.

What to do? Today -- while Ontarians slumber through a wintry weekend -- Prof. Levin's lawyer announced (quietly) that his client plans to plead guilty to some of the child pornography-related charges against him, while others will be withdrawn. Which charges are which was not specified.

It is passing strange, Agent 3 tells me, for a guilty plea to be announced two months before the court date. And, he adds, it's also unusual for defence counsel to announce the withdrawal of charges. That would normally be for the Crown to do.

But Prof. Levin is not a normal person -- take that any way you like -- and the possibility of further embarrassment to Premier Wynne and the gay cause obviously cannot be countenanced. That's how things are in Canada's most progressive province.

Zimbabwe bans canning of children

Ed. here. This has been a pretty intense week, with all the furor and debate about freedom of speech and Islamic extremism. Walt is taking the weekend off to smell the roses, but, rather than end the week on a sour note, I'd like to offer you this little item, which appeared today on the landing page of Zimbabwe NewsDay.

Those not familiar with Zimbabwe's education system should understand that it's based on the British public school model, inherited from the bad old colonial days (now looking pretty good in retrospect), which included caning, shown in the cartoon. "Canning" suggests technological innovation in cannibalism, which presumably is still illegal in Zimbabwe. Geddit now?

The error, which tells you all you need to know about the quality of education in Zimbabwe, is repeated in the story. Click here to read the whole thing.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Islamic world disorder

Still more on what's wrong with the Muslims and their religion. Before you accuse Walt of being a racist [Surely not! Ed.], consider the argument that there must be something wrong with a people and a part of the world which is not progressing -- no matter how you measure "progress" -- as quickly as any other part of the world, not even sub-Saharan Africa.

The part of the world to which I refer is the Middle East and north Africa. At least three countries in those regions are actually regressing: Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Two others -- Somalia and Libya -- are "failed states". Somalia has been acknowledged as such for twenty years, and Libya was accorded that "status", more or less, in last week's issue of The Economist.

The people of those regions are followers of the Prophet Mohammed -- Muslims. So are their rulers, some fanatically so. (Hello, Saudis!) Is there, then, some link between their religion and the political, economic and social turmoil -- not forgetting civil and sectarian wars -- now raging in that area?

Thanks to Agent 3 for the link to "How the Muslim world is being left behind", in the current Maclean's. Read the article and judge for yourself. [Unless you're Pope Francis, of course. Ed.]

Scott Gilmore explains the meaning of the charts you see here, and concludes that the Islamic world is in decline. Where he goes wrong is in thinking that if we just reach out and embrace the Muslims, we can pull them up to our level. What do you think of that, gentle reader? Walt think Mr. Gilmore is wrong...WRONG!

Pope Francis needs to be reminded that Islam is a false religion

More fallout from the Charlie Hebdo atrocity and the reactions of Western politicians, "Christian" religious leaders and the lamestream media. Provoked by "Must free speech include the freedom to offend?", posted here yesterday, seldom-heard-from Agent 12 (welcome back!) sent us a link to "Pope Francis, blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the punch".

The article, from a blog for Dallas-area Catholics -- real Catholics -- argues that there can be no real understanding of the whole controversy until there is an acknowledgement that Islam is a false religion -- one that is to be tolerated, to be sure, but false all the same.

With the last few popes -- JPII, Benedict XVI and Francis -- visiting and even praying in mosques, and generally pushing the enormous lie that is false ecumenism, we shouldn't expect any such statement from anyone except the remnant of traditional Catholics and fundamentalist Protestants.

The blogger writes: The Church used to know these truths: you cannot blaspheme against the Church and the Lord, because both are true. The second is, error has no rights. Thus, both Charlie Hebdo and the Islamic maniacs who attacked them are both violently wrong and to be repudiated.

I, for one, have been sickened by this outpouring of support for a magazine few had heard of and few cared about. Our modern culture likes to pretend that freedom of speech is a sacred right, but when the knife comes to the throat, vague notions about liberty are not enough to sustain a person in resistance.

Liberals will inevitably fall before religious conviction, and that is why the West is in collapse: the West has rejected the religion that built her. Dark ages seem to loom ahead.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Walt's post "West reacts to Islamist killing of Westerners... ONLY Westerners" seems to have attracted the attention of the CBC's Rex Murphy. [Either that or great minds think alike. Ed.] Like Walt, Mr. Murphy has difficulty understanding why the killing of a dozen cartoonists and four Jews has caused such furious breast-beating and rending of garments, yet the massacre of thousands of Nigerian Muslims by Islamic fanatics has resulted in... crickets... Check out "Why isn't the world rallying against Boko Haram?", as aired on CBC's The National last night.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Must free speech include the freedom to offend?

Walt has been silent for the last couple of days, pondering the ramifications of last week's atrocities in France and the implications for freedom of speech. My musings were concretized [Eh? Ed.] earlier today by an e-mail from one of our assiduous readers, who writes:

I initially felt that satirizing Mohammed was part of free speech. But then I thought how I was irritated years ago at some art exhibit that showed a crucifix sitting in urine or something like that. I felt it was tacky, unnecessary and insulting to Christianity, even to me an agnostic.

Now I am thinking, why are they going out of their way to insult Islam? What can be gained except alienating millions of fanatics who are just looking for an excuse to explode. Your thoughts please....

Walt had the same thoughts on seeing Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ". My initial reaction was that the "artist" should have been shot (or perhaps crucified), or at the very least prosecuted under anti-blasphemy laws. There are such things in several US states, in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, and also in the Criminal Code of Canada, but, needless to say [Why say it, then? Ed.], no-one ever gets prosecuted nowadays.

The prevailing orthodoxy is that any organized religion is fair game... unless of course it's Islam! I disagree. So, it seems, does our reader. And we are in good company. Today the Pope himself put aside his who-am-I-to-judge and we-must-be-tolerant lines. Freedom of speech, he said en route to the Philippines is all well and good, but religions must be treated with respect, so that people's faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

Walt is reminded of the old saw about freedom of speech not extending to the right to yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre -- words which have become a popular metaphor for the dangers of complete freedom of speech. Those words were written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in Schenk v. United States, 1919 U.S. LEXIS 2223.

What has been lost, over the years, is the understanding that the result in that case was the affirmation, by the Supreme Court of the United States, of the conviction of Charles Schenk under a statue which, the appellant argued, was in violation of the First Amendment.

Justice Holmes' view, which he never changed, was that expressions of honest opinion were entitled to near absolute protection, but that expressions made with the specific intent to cause a criminal harm, or that threatened a clear and present danger of such harm, could be punished.

I think a good case can be made that the publication of cartoons intended to be offensive to members of a religion not known for its tolerance of disrespect to its prophet gives rise to the near certainty of violent retribution. That's exactly what happened in Paris.

Should I then rethink my criticism of the lamestream press for not showing the cartoons that brought down the wrath of the Muslim fanatics? Their excuse was that they didn't wish to further offend the Muslims. I'd buy that, except for a nagging feeling that if it had been Christians or Jews who had been offended, the response would have been quite different.

Further reading: "MSNBC's Maddow Shows ‘Piss Christ’ But Not Latest ‘Charlie Hebdo’", by Eric Scheiner on

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thinking about Charlie Hebdo: Kurt Vonnegut's views on freedom of speech and the role of the artist in society

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was an American writer -- one of Walt's favourite novelists. His works, such as Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973), blended satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. In spite of, or perhaps because of, his stint in the United States Army during World War II, he was until his death a committed pacifist. He was also a supporter of the ACLU and a crusader for not only freedom of speech but freedom of thought.

Kurt Vonnegut was born on 11 November 1922, eight years exactly after the Armistice that ended World War I. He dies on 11 April 2007, having lived through the Vietnam War and the first years of the Oil Wars or Gulf Wars or Wars Against Terrorism -- whatever you want to call them. I don't know if, prior to his death, he had ever read or even heard of Charlie Hebdo, but I imagine he would have applauded their lampooning of organized religion and secular sacred cows.

Back in 1973, Mr. Vonnegut was interviewed by Frank McLaughlin, for Media & Methods and by David Standish in Playboy, the magazine that men of my generation pretended to read. Perhaps we should have paid more attention when thinkers such as he cast pearls before us such as these comments about the role of artists -- writers, cartoonists and the like -- in our society.

From the Media & Methods interview:

I agree with Hitler and Stalin about a lot of things. Basic agreement with them and with...almost every dictator is that an artist should serve his society, and I would not be interested in writing if I didn't feel that what I wrote was an act of good citizenship or an attempt, at any rate, to be a good citizen.

What brought my ancestors over here from Germany was not oppression over there, but simply the attractiveness of the United States Constitution.... I was raised to be bughouse about the Constitution, and to be very excited about the United States of America as a Utopia. It still seems utterly workable to me, and I keep thinking of ways to fix it, to see what the hell went wrong, to see if we can get the thing to really run right.

[Now] I am heartbroken and confused.... I finally understand that I am not protected by the U.S. Constitution. I have never been protected by it, and it's only a piece of paper that we in America have always been dependent upon. The goodwill of those who govern us...that's all that has ever protected us....

We have entered a period now when our government doesn't really seem to like us much. I find this oppressive, and realize that the Constitution can't help much, can't help at all, really, if our leaders come to dislike us -- which they apparently do.

From the Playboy interview:

I agree with Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini that the writer should serve his society. I differ with dictators as to how a writer should serve. Mainly, I think they should be...agents of change. For the better, we hope....
We [writers] are expressions of the entire society.... And when a society is in great danger, we're likely to sound the alarms.

I have the canary-bird-in-the-coal-mine theory of the arts. You know coal miners used to take birds down into the mines with them to detect gas before the men got sick. The artists certainly did that in the case of Vietnam. They chirped and keeled over. But it made no difference whatsoever. Nobody important cared. But I continue to think that artists -- all artists -- should be treasured as alarm systems.

Walt suggests that, now that a dozen canaries have been killed by fanatics of a "deviant form of religion" (to use the Pope's words), perhaps the "leaders" of the Western world will hear the alarm and take some action beyond mouthing platitudes about peaceful coexistence and the brotherhood of man. Or perhaps not....

Source for these quotes: Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut, edited by  William Rodney Allen (University Press of Mississippi, 1988).

West reacts to Islamist killing of Westerners... ONLY Westerners

It took the "public" beheading of a couple of Americans and a Brit to get the Excited States of America and its camp followers (hello, Australia, Britain and Canada... and France!) into the latest phase of the Oil Wars. As long as ISIS -- an extremist band of Sunni Muslims -- was beating up Shia Muslims, Kurds, and other denizens of the sandpit, who cared? Nobody! That's who!

Last week, Islamic terrorists -- which is what they were, no matter what the Prez says -- killed, ummm, 17 French people (including 4 Jews), and the world went nuts. As discussed here at length [great length! Ed.], suddenly we we're all Charlie. Some of us even proclaimed "We are all Jews"!

Sure, the killings in France were tragic, outrageous attacks on free speech and Western values, worthy of condemnation and outpourings of grief and determination to resist. But... did anyone notice that in the same week, Boko Haram killes literally 1000s of people -- all African, mostly Muslim -- in Nigeria? "See Meanwhile, in Nigeria, militant Islamists wipe out town of 10,000">

Today comes news that there were three -- count `em, three -- suicide bombings in the same part of Nigeria. 23 people were killed and dozens injured when three female suicide bombers -- one only 10 years old -- blew themselves up [or were blown up by remote control] in crowded markets. 23 dead, added to the 2000 or so killed in Baga. Are people in Paris, Washington, London or Toronto taking to streets with signs reading "We are all African Muslims!" Errr, no.

Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jos, accuses the West of ignoring the atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram. Speaking on BBC-TV's Newsday, he said the world had to show more determination to halt the militant Islamists' advance in Nigeria. Why, he asked, doesn't the international community show the same spirit and resolve that it did after the attacks in France? Walt will supply the answer. It's because the victims aren't Westerners, so who cares...

Archbishop Kaigama said facing down Boko Haram requires international support and unity of the type that had been shown after last week's militant attacks in France. "We need that spirit to be spread around," he said. "Not just when [an attack] happens in Europe, but when it happens in Nigeria, in Niger, in Cameroon. We [must] mobilize our international resources and face or confront the people who bring such sadness to many families."

Good luck with that. And I'm not talking about Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan [real name. Ed.] who is among those who doesn't seem to care. He has yet to comment on this week's violence, and BBC correspondent Will Ross says Nigeria's politicians appear more focused on next month's elections. Not like Western politicians, eh!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Have we forgotten the Black Muslims?

Just one more thing before we close down WWW for the weekend.

It may have escaped the attention of a lot of people -- because the PC lamestream media don't like to draw attention to it -- but the fact is that Amedy Coulibaly, the accomplice of the Kouachi brothers who executed a policewoman on Wednesday as well the hostages taken in what France's president called an anti-Semitic attack on a kosher market on Thursday, was black. And Muslim. Yes, a black Muslim, and that's the truth.

According to a police source, he and the Kouachi brothers were all members of the same Paris jihadist cell that sent French fighters to Iraq a decade ago. France's L'Obs reports that Coulibaly spent time with Chérif Kouachi when they were both in prison in Fleury-Mérogis between 2005 and 2006.

Politicians and the lamestream press have been pissing and moaning about how this kind of thing could happen anywhere, which justifies the need for greater security, as well as greater efforts to integrate the self-segregating Muslims into the mainstream Western society, yada yada yada.

Indeed, there have been murderous attacks on innocent people, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, within the ten weeks last past in Canada, Australia, and France, not forgetting Nigeria, where a 10-year-old suicide bomber blew herself to Paradise along with 19 others, just today. And the trial of another Islamist fanatic for the Boston marathon bombing is about to get under way. So yes, it can happen anywhere, including the Paranoid States of America.

Oddly, though, there has been no mention, so far, of the Black Muslims. Have we forgotten about them? Several groups of "Afro-American" Muslim brothers are encompassed by the term "Black Muslims", but the one most people should remember -- especially in light of this week's events -- is the self-styled "Nation of Islam".

The Nation of Islam is a religious movement founded in Detroit by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. Its stated goals are "to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States". However, its critics accuse it of being black supremacist and anti-Semitic.

After its founder mysteriously disappeared in June 1934, the Nation of Islam was led by Elijah Muhammad, on whose watch it split into a number of splinter groups. The most notable departure from the ranks was that of Malcolm X, who left to become Sunni Muslim. After Elijah Muhammad's death, his son Warith Deen Mohammed changed the name of the organization to "World Community of Islam in the West".

In 1977, Louis Farrakhan rejected Warith Deen Mohammed's leadership and re-established the Nation of Islam on the original model. He took over the Nation of Islam's headquarter Temple, Mosque Maryam, located in Chicago. The ultra-liberal, ultra-PC Southern Poverty Law Center designates the Nation of Islam as a hate group for its "racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay rhetoric".

Walt wonders what Louis Farrakhan has to say about this week's events in France and Nigeria. The silence from Chicago has so far been deafening.

Steyn and Murphy on the Charlie Hebdo massacre and free speech

A couple of days ago, writing about the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the PC-fed reluctance of the Western media to point the finger at Islamic jihadists, I said I could hardly wait for Mark Steyn to weigh in on the topic.

Well, now he has. Check out "#JeSuisCharlie - But You're Not". The post on Mark's own website includes a 28-minute dialogue between Mr. Steyn, Mohamed El Rashidy (director of the Canadian Arab Federation) and Evan Solomon on CBC-TV's Power and Politics -- well worth a look and a listen.

Walt also recommends "We are not Charlie Hebdo" by reliable Rex Murphy, in today's National Post. Sample: Why do we wallow in some shallow hollow of factitious guilt, moaning over our failings to “understand” after 9/11, after Mumbai, after London, after Ottawa, after Paris this week, rather than laying the guilt on the real perpetrators and the ideology that fires them? 

If we will not speak for free speech when it is shut down by special interests, protestors of the politically correct, on campuses and in newspapers, we manifest that we are not serious about free speech. There is no “we” after the killings. There are very few worthy of that claim … and, alas, under the shout of allahu akbar, 12 of them are now quite dead.

Right on, Rex!

Western leaders finally admit Muslims are waging jihad against us

In an unusually clear statement of fact, Canadian Prime Minister Harper said on Friday that the "international jihadist movement" -- yes, those were his words -- has declared war on countries around the world. But, he said, people around the world showed they won't be intimidated by "jihadist terrorists."

In his first public comments about yesterday's attack on the Paris office of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were murdered, Mr. Harper said "When a trio of hooded men struck at some of our most cherished democratic principles -- freedom of expression, freedom of the press -- they assaulted democracy everywhere. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people around the world and in cities across [Canada] openly demonstrated that we will not be intimidated by jihadist terrorists."

Walt trusts he was not including to the cowardly and politically correct English-Canadian media, which -- with the commendable exception of the National Post -- decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and refrained from showing or printing even one of the cartoons which the Islamic terrorists denounced as "insulting to the Prophet Mohammed". See "The religion that must not be satirized... on pain of death!", posted here on Thursday.

But I digress. As I fired up the old Commodore 64, my aim was to place this week's atrocities in context. In "The war against ISIS explained... again... seriously, this time" (WWW 14/11/14), I called the latest US-led invasion of Iraq another phase of the "Oil Wars". But there's more to this than the American imperialism which I condemned just this Monday in "Why the Middle East hates the West - Part III".

Mr. Harper's statement reminds me that I neglected to address, except in passing, the fact that the Paris attacks are merely the latest battle of a religious war. A "jihad" is a "holy war", and the three jihadists are (by their own choice) casualties of the war of Islam against all infidels, including Christians and (particularly) Jews.

France's president, François Hollande, rightly described the killing of Jewish hostages at a kosher grocery store as "an anti-Semitic act", which should remind us that the fundamentalist Muslims are sworn enemies of the earlier Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Judaism, against whom they have fought for control of the Holy Land... and the world... right from the beginning. Walt recommends [for the second time this week! Ed.] a column by the National Post's Christie Blatchford: When push comes to shove, isn’t it curious how it’s always about the Jews?

History -- if anyone is left to write it -- may struggle to pinpoint the date on which the Great Islamic Jihad began. Perhaps the Americans started it, with Operation Desert Storm, or the invasion of Iraq, or the invasion of Afghanistan. Or perhaps it goes all the way back to the Crusades, or earlier.

When the holy war against the West started doesn't matter. We are now in the middle of it, and the Islamic fanatics are bringing the battle from the sandpit of the Middle East to our very doorsteps. This is the burden of a message received today from the Fatima Center, which Walt thinks worth posting here. [Minor edits and emphasis are mine.]

A spray of bullets, the cry of “Allahu Akbar!”, and a scene of horror, with dead bodies giving their mute and gruesome testimony to the barbarism that is engulfing what were once the nations of Christendom – this was the scene in Paris on January 7 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication that dared to mock Islam.

The usual and quite useless responses were forthcoming. The French Bishops Conference spoke of maintaining the “fragile fellowship” of a diverse society. Pope Francis observed that man can be cruel (no mention of Islam) and asked for prayers for the victims. And there were those who lamented the failure to respect the rights of free speech. There were even some who tentatively suggested that the dead were to be faulted for disrespecting a particular religious sentiment, while formally condemning the violence as nevertheless inappropriate or unjustified (but understandable). And, of course, there were cheers among the jihadists for another slaughter of the infidels.

The Fatima Center tells the plain truth that the world is unwilling to hear: We are engaged in a war, a final battle, between good and evil, with Our Lady opposed by Satan. If we wish to fight on the side of the good, we must do so under the banner of Our Lady of Fatima. We cannot defeat an implacable enemy by an appeal to tolerance or free speech or the desirability of diversity.

There is in liberalism, which has come to dominate the West, a refusal to recognize that certain things are irreconcilable. There are situations in which one has no choice but to fight or be vanquished. This desire to negotiate, to dialogue endlessly in the hope of reaching a mutually acceptable compromise is rooted in the illusion that there are no absolute truths. It is difficult for liberals to understand those who refuse to dialogue and would sooner kill you than negotiate a middle position.

Our Lady of Fatima came to tell us that we must choose: obey Heaven or reap the consequences. We have so far refused to obey, as the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has yet to be performed. When it is performed by the Pope and the bishops, as Our Lady specified, we will have world peace. Scenes of carnage such as we just witnessed in Paris will be no more. Until then, we can only expect more horrors and suffering. The only practical course to follow at this point in time is to pray for the Consecration and to work for it in every way we can. Our Lady of Fatima is our only hope.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie Hebdo shooter dreamed of being a rap star

Here, without editorial comment, are three paragraphs from a story that appeared on the Reuters wire earlier today.

Twelve years ago, one of the two brothers suspected of the shootings at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was a young man like many others in France, more interested in girls and smoking dope than defending the Prophet Mohammad.

But between 2003, when Cherif Kouachi delivered pizzas and dreamed of being a rap star, and Wednesday, when he and his brother were named chief suspects in the killing of 12 people in Paris, the French national went from punk to most wanted.

In a 2005 France 3 documentary, which includes footage taken at a Paris community centre, Kouachi is seen rapping in English, in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, a baseball hat worn backwards on his head.

Note from Ed.: Walt told me there should be no editorial comment, but I can't resist asking who will be the one to sing "I shot the Chérif"?

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, militant Islamists wipe out town of 10,000

The world... well, the Western world, at least... is getting mightily exercised about the death of a dozen French men and women, executed by two Islamic extremists for "insulting the Prophet". Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, says there is no more time for denial and hypocrisy.

Fingers are being pointed at Islamic fundamentalism, and rightly so, but the problem of coping with millions of outsiders who do not (in spite of what François Hollande and the Pope keep saying) share our core values.

The politically correct message is that not all Muslims are like that. Maybe so. Maybe... maybe... 99% of the followers of the Prophet wouldn't arm themselves with AK-47s and go out hunting infidels. That would leave just 1% -- 50,000 residents of France -- who might threaten the peace of that country. Food for thought...

Meanwhile, the militant Islamists who call themselves Boko Haram -- it means "Western education is forbidden" -- are laying waste to great swathes of northern Nigeria. They control 70% of Borno, the state worst-affected by their insurgency.

Today, a senior government official in the area said that fleeing residents told him that the town of Baga, which had a population of about 10,000, was now "virtually non-existent".

Musa Alhaji Bukar told the BBC's Hausa service, the town had been burnt down. Those who fled reported that they had been unable to bury the dead, and hundreds of corpses littered the town's streets, he said, adding that Boko Haram is now in control of Baga and 16 neighbouring towns after the Nigerian military fled.

The people of northern Nigeria are predominantly Muslim. Most of the 2000 or so people massacred by Boko Haram last year were Muslims -- the peaceful, non-violent kind. The Muslims who have joined the ranks of the Islamic extremists is certainly less than 1%. More food for thought.

The religion that must not be satirized... on pain of death!

In yesterday's second post on the assassination of Charlie Hebdo, Walt drew attention to the craven refusal of the lamestream media to draw attention to the fact that the terrorists being hunted for the murders of a dozen people are Muslims of North African ancestry. Instead, all we hear is calls for brotherhood and unity, as if the massacre had nothing to do with the perps' ethnicity or religious motivation.

Why is the fact that the murderers are Islamic extremists being downplayed? Political correctness, of course! The Taliban, al-Qaeda and now IS have bullied Western politicians -- including Francis the Party Pope -- and media into fearing to say, let alone do anything which might possibly give offence to followers of the Prophet.

Such is the post-Christian, post-religious Western world today. It's OK to make fun of Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestants. Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons have all been satirized in South Park and other TV comedies. Even Judaism is fair game. The Eastern religions -- Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism -- don't even get a laugh. But the one religion that can't be touched, or even mentioned, is... dare we name it... Islam!

Islam is untouchable because our "leaders" and chattering classes have got The Fear. This goes back at least as far as 1989 (before the word "Islamophobia" was coined), when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (an order to Muslims to kill someone) against Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses. English writer Hanif Kureishi called the fatwa -- which is still in effect -- "one of the most significant events in postwar literary history."

The controversy over The Satanic Verses may be said to have divided Muslims from Westerners along the fault line of culture. The core Western value of freedom of expression -- that no-one "should be killed, or face a serious threat of being killed, for what they say or write" -- is now confronted by the Islamic fundamentalist commandment that no-one should be free to "insult and malign Muslims" by disparaging the "honour of the Prophet" Mohammed.

"Death to those who insult the Prophet!" is what the Islamists preach, and their followers -- including the two North African Muslims who killed the journalists of Charlie Hebdo -- are walking the talk. With a vengeance. Literally!

These thoughts have occurred not just to Walt but to others, including numerous cartoonists, commentators, journalists and writers. But so far I've heard only one make the point that political correctness to the point of fear has silenced public discussion of the issue. The CBC's senior correspondent, Neil Macdonald, spoke out on last night's edition of The National. Click here to watch "Religion, satire, and where we draw the line". Bravo, Neil, for breaking the politically correct silence.

Walt also recommends: "Terrorists have cowed us all into a ridiculous self-censorship", by the deliciously un-PC Crusty Blatchford ["Christie", surely. Ed.] in the Notional Post. ["National Post", surely. Ed.] Sample: You want to talk about common or "shared values", as just about every Western leader has done since the attack? The value most shared in the West, and perhaps in this country in particular, is timidity.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RIP Charlie Hebdo: - casualty of the Islamic war on the West

The victims of today's massacre -- for that's what it was -- are casualties of the Islamic war against the West.

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, writes:

These latest shootings may be the work of "lone wolves" but their consequences will ripple across Europe and provoke much soul-searching about the failure of integration over the past decades.

Immigrant communities are already being viewed with increasing suspicion in both France and Germany, with their significant Muslim populations, and even in the UK.

In all three, mainstream political parties are being forced to confront popular discontent over levels of immigration and the apparent desire of some younger, often disaffected children or grandchildren of immigrant families not to conform to western, liberal lifestyles - including traditions of religious tolerance and free speech.

Through all this, ultra-PC Western politicians and the lamestream press still shy away from speaking the truth, that the three men being hunted are Islamic terrorists. "They were French citizens", we are told, and "they spoke perfect French."

What we are not told is that they were of North African descent, three of the five million Muslims living in France. That's 7.5% of the French population, the largest Muslim population in Europe. They may be in Europe, but as followers of the Prophet, they are not of Europe. And that's the truth.

St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church Christmas news

Archpriest Roman Galadza, Pastor of St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church, in Brampton, Ontario, has sent us this beautiful picture of the church building, as it was a year ago, before the great fire last Easter, which razed it to the ground.

Father Galadza writes:

A year ago, we were preparing to celebrate the Feast [of the Holy Theophany, the Nativity of Christ], as we had so many times before, in the beauty of God's temple, St. Elias, our spiritual home. There was so much to look forward to. Now, this temple is gone and we are forced to adjust, accepting God's will and the challenge of truly believing that "God is with us!"

As for the status of reconstruction of the temple, our architectural team is working on the drawings, intending to submit them to the city for approval shortly. Insurance coverage is sufficient to begin the work while donations toward the Building Fund will enable us to furnish the interior.

If all goes well, the foundation work will begin in May with completion by summer of 2016. We look forward and pray for the day when, God willing, what was will be -- once again!

If you would like to contribute to the Building Fund, please click here to make a donation online through CanadaHelps.  Or you can send a cheque in Canadian or US dollars, payable to St. Elias Building Fund, to St. Elias Church, 10193 Heritage Road, Brampton, Ontario, L7A 0A1, Canada.

French satirical paper latest target of Islamic terrorists

As 2014 ends, so 2015 begins, with followers of the Prophet killing infidels in countries which insist on meddling in the Middle East. The USA, of course, Canada, Australia, and now France. Today in Paris, black-hooded gunmen shot and killed at least 12 people -- the body count still hasn't been finalized -- at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication similar to Britain's Private Eye or "America's Finest News Source", The Onion.

Two flics (French cops) are believed to be among the dead, and at least another 10 people -- they're still counting as Walt writes -- were injured in the "carnage." A police spokesthingy said the attackers escaped in two vehicles [In Paris traffic? How?! Ed.] and are still at large.

French President François Hollande, France's hugely ineffectual and unpopular president, ordered top government officials to convene an emergency meeting. "This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it," he told reporters, "and we plan to harrumph about it very loudly indeed."

M Hollande also said French police have thwarted several other planned attacks "in recent weeks." He refrained, however, from identifying the attackers as Muslims. So why does Walt fearlessly call them "Islamic extremists"? Well, what do you think?

How about if I tell you that Charlie Hebdo was firebombed in November 2011 after publishing cartoons lampooning Muslim leaders and putting an image of the Prophet Mohammed on its cover. A year later, the magazine published more Mohammed drawings amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film. The cartoons depicted Muhammad naked and in demeaning or mildly pornographic poses. As passions raged, the French government rebuked Charlie Hebdo for political incorrectness.

Today, the last tweet on Charlie Hebdo's account mocked Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Witnesses to the massacre said they heard the gunmen shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed!"

The "radicalized Muslims" who have perpetrated the recent attacks in the USA, Canada and Australia have given the "war" on ISIS by America and its coalition of the somewhat willing as the motivation for their terrorist acts. ISIS has published several videos in which young, Western terrorist wannabes have said they're coming to get us, in our own countries and cities. As today's outrage demonstrates, they weren't kidding.

Walt is waiting to see what the French government will actually do to counter the threat of Islamic terrorism. Following today's shooting, the office of the French prime minister announced that the country has raised its anti-terrorism alert to its highest level. So what?

Thanks to political correctness and the "enlightened" immigration policies of its liberal governments, France is full of Muslims, some of them "moderate" and some of them, errr, not so "moderate". There's no getting rid of them, and there's no living with them in peace.

What we are seeing now, in France and the rest of the West, are the first shots in sectarian warfare -- Muslims vs "infidels" -- which can only get worse. The sad thing is so few of our political leaders had the vision to see this coming. See "Charles De Gaulle warns about Muslim immigration" (WWW, 25/8/12).

De Gaulle (1959) and Enoch Powell (1968) were denounced as alarmists and even racists. Today their warnings would be called "Islamophobic". But they were right! The warning bells have been ringing for over half a century. And still the likes of Hussein Obama, Tony Bliar, and Francis the Humble don't get it. Expect more terrorism... coming to your country, your city, perhaps even your neighbourhood... soon!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Різдво Господа нашого Ісуса Христа

Різдво Господа нашого Ісуса Христа

We wish our Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox readers and friends

Monday, January 5, 2015

Why the Middle East hates the West - Part I

I think it is not a huge overstatement to say that in the Middle East -- from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean to the Khyber Pass -- the West (read: the USA and its allies) and its people, are generally despised and loathed. Some of the region's governments -- Iraq and Pakistan, for instance -- make a show of co-operating with American policy, but that is out of fear and/or desire for the largesse of "foreign aid" (read: military aid).

Why is this? At the end of World War II, America was arguably the greatest power in the world, and generally respected (if not loved) for having saved the world for freedom and democracy. How could the rest of the world have won the war without John Wayne? But somehow, the huge reserve of goodwill built up by the USA was frittered away.

Squandered with the best of intentions, to be sure, but squandered all the same. Three incidents or phenomena come to Walt's mind.

Let's begin with Iran. This gentleman -- Mohammad Mosaddeq -- was the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953. Although a Muslim, he championed  secular democracy and resistance to foreign domination, until his government was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the British MI6 and the American CIA.

Why did they do that? The answer can be spelled out in just three letters: O-I-L. Mr. Mossadeq's most notable achievement was the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been under British control since 1913 through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later British Petroleum or BP).

But Mr. Mossadeq was only the prime minister. Under a parliamentary system of government, he was answerable to the King (or Shah) of Iran (or Persia, as the country was formerly known).

That was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who reigned -- with the support of both the UK and the USA -- from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Islamic Revolution on 11 February 1979.

He was on the Peacock Throne long before and long after the nationalization of the oil industry, and was not unhappy to see the return of foreign oil firms. Between the oil revenue and the American and British foreign aid, the Shah became one of the richest men in the world. He is said to have had a gold-plated toilet in his private jet, so that he could boast "I shit on gold!"

To be fair, it was Shah Pahlavi who introduced the White Revolution, a series of economic, social and political reforms with the proclaimed intention of transforming Iran into a global power and modernizing the nation by nationalizing certain industries -- not including oil! -- and granting women suffrage. These policies cost him the support of the Shi'a Muslim clergy, as well as the working and merchant classes.

The Shah's recognition of Israel didn't help either, nor did corruption issues surrounding himself, his family, and the ruling elite. Nor did the banning of the Communist Tudeh Party, and a general suppression of political dissent by Iran's notoriously brutal intelligence agency, SAVAK. According to official statistics, Iran had as many as 2,200 political prisoners in 1978.

The factor which contributed most to the opposition to the Shah was the American and British support for his regime. By 1979, political unrest had transformed into a revolution which forced him to leave Iran. Soon thereafter, the Iranian monarchy was formally abolished, and Iran was declared an Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Khomeini, the one who characterized the USA as "the Great Satan".

Note from Ed.: That's enough Mohammeds for one post. Scroll down to read Part II.

Why the Middle East hates the West - Part II

In Part I (above), Walt gave you the Reader's Digest version of how American (and British) support for the despotic regime of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi contributed to his overthrow in 1979 and the establishment in Iran of a true and fanatical theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

A theocracy  is a form of government in which clergy have official recognition as civil ruler and official policy is either governed by officials regarded as divinely guided, or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group. That's bad, right? 

Well, that's official US policy. A state or people should not be ruled by people with religious principles! In America, church and state are separate. America's rulers are decidedly irreligious. The principles that govern "the land of the free" are the "principles" of secular humanism, which has become the de facto state religion. 

But let's return to the Middle East. The Shah of Iran was not the only despot supported by the USA. During the Cold War, any dictator who professed to be against the Commies was, ipso facto [That's enough Latin. Ed.], America's friend. By means of foreign aid, military support and the occasional coup (as in Iran), America propped up Chiang Kai-shek, Syngman Rhee, Fulgencio Batista, Ferdinand Marcos, [That's enough dictators. Ed.]

However, the USA had never actually resorted to war to maintain in power a corrupt and incompetent -- but pro-Western -- dictatorship until... wait for it... Vietnam.  Yes, Vietnam -- the longest war in American history, the only undeclared war, and the first war America lost since the War of 1812-14. 
Most people think of Vietnam as being LBJ's war or Nixon's war. In fact, it started on President Eisenhower's watch, in 1954. And it rested on Ike's theory that if the USA "lost" Vietnam, it would next lose Laos and Cambodia, then Thailand, and so on. But hold on (nobody cried). How can you lose something you never had in the first place?

Vietnam was (with Laos and Cambodia) part of French Indochina and the larger French empire. The battle of Dien Bien Phu showed France incapable of hanging onto her colonies. What to do? Let them have their independence? No, that would never do. They might decide to be neutral in the Cold War, or, worse, support the Other Side. So the USA began its first colonial war, fully justifying, in the minds of the rest of the Third World, the use of the phrase "American imperialism".

American imperialism is not just a slogan invented by the Communist propaganda machine. It has been a fact of geopolitics for six decades, and remains so today. Today, though, the "empire" which the USA is fighting to maintain is in the Middle East. It is the "empire of oil".

Can the imperial storm-troopers quell the rebellious Islamists of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran? Don't bet on it. (Lifetime pct .983) We'll look at what happened to an earlier empire in Part III, below.

Why the Middle East hates the West - Part III

Right... American imperialism... the wars of the American empire, the "empire of oil". [Hey, wasn't there a company called "Imperial Oil" in Canada? Ed.] Yes, Ed., indeed there was! It was part of the Standard Oil empire, and retains the brand name "Esso" to this day. But let's move on...

If you buy Walt's argument that the USA is fighting in the Middle East to protect its empire against Islamic nationalist fanatics, you might pause to consider the fate of previous empires. The Russians and "Soviets" tried twice to invade and conquer Afghanistan. So did the British, who in the first half of the 20th century considered all of the Middle East, from the Gulf to Pakistan, to be within their sphere of influence.

Going back to ancient history, the Greeks had some success in that region. Alexander the Great penetrated as far as Kafiristan, a historical region that covered present-day Nuristan Province in Afghanistan. (If you've seen the admirable movie version of Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, you'll know where I'm going with this.)

The Roman Empire, at its greatest extent, included the Holy Land, as well as Syria and "Mesopotamia" (more or less the same as northern Iraq), the very land which ISIS is fighting to take over today. That area was one of the first parts of the Roman Empire to fall. The Romans just gave up on it. They didn't know about the oil!

As Edward Gibbon tells us -- click here to read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as an e-book -- the Roman Empire imploded. It decayed and crumbled from within, doomed by its abandonment of the principles and policies that made it great. The Romans lost their respect for their gods and for decent living. They put pleasure ahead of civic duty, and gave themselves over to hedonism and excess.

The same thing happened in America, then "the rest of the West", in the 1960s. I refer to the rise of the hippie "movement" and the era of "flower power". Sex, drugs and indolence became a way of life for hundreds of thousands of (mostly white, middle-class) American youths. Such gurus of hippiedom as Timothy Leary encouraged young people to "turn on, tune in and drop out", and that's exactly what they did.

So what (I hear you ask). The toxins of those days have been neutralized by the materialism and hard times of the 80s and 90s. Yes, the drugs are still there, but you don't see all those dirty kids panhandling on the streets any more. Young people are going to school, working, having families, much as before. The hippie daze was just a blip.

Maybe so (I answer), but the West never recovered its respect for religion, its sense of community and ideals of civic duty and national pride. Mark Steyn and others have quite rightly drawn parallels with the decline of Rome and the decline of America today. See also James Burnham's Suicide of the West (Random House 1970), written at the height of the hippie craze.

What does the hippie craze have to do with the hatred of America exhibited in much of the world -- especially the Middle East -- today? It's this. How can you love or even respect a nation which does not love or respect itself?

A half-century ago, before the hippies exported their scruffy lifestyle to the rest of the world, Americans were generally respected, even admired. Foreigners had never seen Americans wandering around their streets naked and stoned, begging for spare change, epitomizing decadence. Then came the hippies.

The reaction of people in places like Afghanistan was summed up by a director of that country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted by Suzanne Labin in Hippies, drogues et sexe -- translated in English as Hippies, Drugs and Promiscuity (Arlington House 1972):

The West [he said] has always been the symbol of culture, of enterprise, of civility, of power, of artistic splendor for us. And now we have the children of this West in the streets of Kabul: dressed  like tramps, stretched out on tables, begging in the streets, scornful of learning, spending full-time on drugs or, at best, guitars. We have the impression that the marrow of your civilization is rotting. [Emphasis mine. Walt]

The sons of our more prominent families have traditionally had only one aspiration: to go study in the brilliant West. Now they don't want to go any more, and besides, their families -- in whom the traditions of good breeding, of order, and of respect for the traditional ways are still very much alive -- agree that their  children should not go off into your world of perdition. The hippies have turned our youth away from the West.

The people of the Middle East -- "moderate Muslims" as well as Islamic extremists -- reject Western society as it now appears, dominated by what I'll call the American "culture of whatever". There is no sense of responsibility, only of "rights". There is no morality, no sense of right and wrong, not even in the Church. ("Who am I to judge?")

What is left of the "hippie culture" is the idea that anything goes. "If it feels good, do it." And, "If you don't want to do it, you don't have to." The people of the Middle East -- not to mention the rest of Asia, Africa and Latin America -- don't want their society to become like ours. Who can blame them?!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Fire drill? No, MUSLIM drill!

Never let it be said that there's racial or religious discrimination in India! Oh... wait a minute...

OK, let it be said. In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, police in Surat district dressed actors in white skullcaps and long tunics to play the part of "militants" -- "Islamic" implied -- in mock security drills. The whole exercise was captured on video, as was another drill in Narmada district in which the "militants", to add a bit more realism, shouted "Islam Zindabad (Long live Islam)!"

Muslim leaders in India and the neighbouring states of Pakistan and Bangladesh have called the videos "atrocious and highly condemnable". They say the videos stereotype Muslims, who make up nearly 14% of India's 1.2 billion population, as narrow-minded, fanatical, terrorists bent on murdering all infidels, yada yada yada, whereas Islam is, as we all know, the Religion of Peace(TM).

The exercise was "a mistake", said Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. "It's wrong to link religion with terrorism," he said. "The issue has been resolved and the matter should be put to rest now. The mistake has been rectified by my good Mrs. Patel." [Ed., please check that quote for accuracy.]

Police initially tried to brush off the criticism. Inspector Sherlock Patel [Ed., please check name] said the skullcaps were used "to give [the ones portraying terrorists] a different look", but later apologized saying the situation could have been avoided, "had not someone done something evil to the plans." [Ed., please...]

In the months since becoming prime minister, Mr. Modi has talked about inclusiveness, but his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has its core base among hardline Hindus and many Hindu fundamentalist groups -- yes, the Hindus have fundamentalists too -- have recently been accused of forcibly converting Muslims and Christians. Mahatma Gandhi is no doubt spinning in his grave. [Wouldn't he have been cremated, not buried? Ed.]

Speaking of the Great Soul and religious tolerance, BBC News reports that a row broke out a few days ago after Indian government minister Niranjan Jyoti used an abusive term to refer to non-Hindus, by asking people at a public rally to choose between Ramzada (children of the Hindu god Ram) and Haramzada (bastards). Prime Minister Modi said he disapproved of her language but refused to sack her.

"Don't touch that! It's H2SO4!" shouted Tom acidly

Most of Walt's readers are probably too young to remember Tom Swift. Tom Swift -- Tom Swift Jr., in the second series -- is the central character in five series of books of American juvenile sci-fi and adventure novels. The first book in the series appeared in 1910, and new titles have been published as recently as 2007, bringing the number of Tom Swift Books to over 100.

Translated into many languages, the books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Tom Swift has also been the subject of a board game and a television show. Development of a feature film based on the series was announced in 2008, but as far as I know, it never went into production.

What makes Tom Swift interesting to me is the way he talked. The numerous ghost writers who penned Tom Swift (under the name of Victor W. Appleton) never let Tom say anything simply. There was always an adverb following the quote to describe how Tom said it -- sternly, seriously, happily and so on.

This was such a cliché that people started making jokes about it -- puns or "Wellerisms". Examples: "Let's have a Judy Garland show!", said Tom gaily. - "Where's my favourite picture magazine?", asked Tom Lifelessly - "I can't find my old board game," said Tom Cluelessly.

Apparently Walt is not the only fan of these jokes, known for decades now as "Tom Swifties". This morning I discovered a whole website devoted to Tom Swifties, which includes a link to a dictionary of them. "I recommend it to all lovers of puns and word play," said Tom encouragingly! [That wasn't a very good one. Ed.]