Friday, April 29, 2016

VIDEO: Carly Fiorina chosen by Cruz, breaks into song!

Never before in the history of WWW -- over six years now and counting -- have we reposted one of Stephen Colbert's bits, but this one is just too good. Really it doesn't even need the set-up.

Ted Cruz Announces His Losing Mate by lateshowwithstephencolbert

Is it possible that Carly Fiorina could ever have been taken seriously by anyone as a candidate for the presidensity? Or as CEO of a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation for that matter. But hey, as Canuck PM Justin Trudeau said when he apportioned his cabinet equally between women and men, "It's 2015!"

Having gender parity in a cabinet. What an idea! Isn't that what Hellery Clinton is proposing, as if she thought of it all by herself? Maybe she could make Ms Fiorina Secretary of... errr... well... errr...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

VIDEO: Advice on moving to Canada (in case Trump wins)

Poor Len Canayen passed this along. For sure he likes the guy's toque, eh!

Gavin McInnes of has some advice for Americans threatening to move to Canada if Donald Trump is elected president

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Origin of the Texas Longhorns logo

Agent 6 feels that Walt is neglecting his mission to teach readers something new every day. He has passed along a photo to show the origin of the Texas Longhorns logo.

For readers in the half of the world that isn't Texas, the Longhorns are the extramural and intramural sports teams of the University of Texas at Austin. These teams are referred to as the Texas Longhorns (or variously as Longhorns or 'Horns), taking their name from the Longhorn cattle that were an important part of the development of Texas, and are now the official "large animal" of the Great State of Texas. The women's teams are sometimes called the Lady Longhorns, but generally both the men's and women's teams are referred to as the Longhorns, and the mascot is a Texas Longhorn steer named Bevo.

But where (I hear you ask) did the inspiration for the logo really come from? Here's the answer.

Educational mission accomplished!

Which presidential candidate is "unloved and unstoppable"?

Did you really have to look? The description comes a briefing in the current issue of The Economist. [Why does The Economist call itself a "newspaper" when it's obviously a magazine? Just wonderin'. Ed.] The cartoon of Hellery heading towards her inevitable coronation is the work of the Globe and Mail's estimable Brian Gable.

The Economist's characterization of Ms Clinton as "unloved and unstoppable" is mild compared with some of the things being said about her by fellow Democrats. The Economist quotes a certain Dr Paul Song: "Medicare-for-all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us." Indeed. Dr Song is obviously a Sanders supporter.

The Economist had some unkind words for Donald Trump too, calling him a "foul-mouthed celebrity builder". But, they concede, the breadth of the Donald's victory in the New York primary was "impressive". Moreover, their analysis gives the lie to "the idea that it is mostly poorer, less educated voters who are attracted to Mr Trump..." They interpret exit polling from other state primaries as showing "that better-paid and better-educated voters have always formed as big a part of Mr Trump's base as those at the lower end of the scale..."

Today Republicans vote in primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The Economist expects Mr Trump to win all five. Walt concurs. Lifetime pct .988.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Escalating the war in Syria: Has Obama learned nothing?

CNN politics reports today that President 0 is going to send another 250 American special ops forces to Syria in the coming weeks, in an effort to stem the influence and spread of ISIS. "Stem the influence and spread"? What happened to "degrade and destroy"? Even that got downgraded pretty quickly to "degrade and defeat". Now it's just "stem the influence and spread".

Here, according to CNN politics, are POTUS's actual words. "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to increase U.S. support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria, a small number of special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria and their expertise has been critical as local forces have driven ISIL out of key areas. So given their success I've approved the deployment of up to 250 additional U.S. personnel in Syria including special forces to keep up this momentum."

"Given their success..." Pardon me while I fall down laughing. Whatever success the anti-ISIS forces have had lately has come largely through the efforts of Kurdish fighters and those of our once-but-no-longer enemy Basher Assad, ably assisted by the Russian Air Force. But don't worry. The Paranoid States of America is going to step up the fight against the murderous Muslims. Really. Obama means it, this time.

Yes indeed. If more American boots on the ground don't do the trick, the USAF will win the war from the air. At the end of February, Air Force Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, announced at the Air Force Association’s annual Air Warfare Symposium that they're going to send in the B52s! And Lt.-Gen. Charles Brown, in charge of the flying branch’s top headquarters for the Middle East, said he would help "bring B-52s to town", according to Air Force Magazine, quoted on The National Interest blogsite.

Send in the B52s to bomb whatever rubble is left. What an amazing idea. But hang on! Haven't we seen this movie before? Back in the early 70s? Didn't USAF B52s engage in carpet-bombing of not just Vietnam but Laos and Cambodia? How did that work out? [That was in a movie -- The Killing Fields. It didn't really happen! Ed.]

Sorry, Ed., but it did happen! It was part of the Johnson-Nixon grand strategy to end the war! Remember? Anyway, here's a quote from Rick Perlstein's Nixonland (Scribner 2008), recommended here a few days ago. "On April 16 [1972], five behemoth B-52s pounded Hanoi and North Vietnam's lifeline port, Haiphong Harbor....

"Then, the night of April 26, [Nixon] went on TV to make his latest Vietnam pitch: "...we have offered the most generous peace terms.... The South Vietnamese are fighting courageously and well in their self-defense.
'...I say to you tonight, let us bring our men home from Vietnam; let us end the war in Vietnam. But let us end it in such a way that the younger brothers and the sons of the brave men who have fought in Vietnam will not have to fight again in some other Vietnam at some time in the future....
'My fellow Americans, let us therefore unite as a nation in a firm and wise policy of real peace -- not the peace of surrender, but peace with honor, not just peace in our time, but peace for generations to come.'"

And how did that work out? Walt asks... again... how it can be that the leaders of the USA have learned nothing, nothing from the American experience in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, and (so far) in Syria? How can it be?!

Footnote regarding Nixonland: A reader has confessed to some puzzlement over Walt's recommendation of Nixonland. Isn't that book [he asks] nothing more than a hatchet job on RMN, published to discredit the Republicans ahead of the 2008 presidential election? Well, yes. Mr. Perlstein paints a picture of President Nixon as a scurrilous bounder and then some. But that the picture is unflattering doesn't make it unreal. And Mr. Perlstein shows no love for the Democrats or President Johnson either. About the only pols who come off at all well in the book are Messrs McCarthy and McGovern.

But that's beside the point. The main point of Nixonland, as far as I'm concerned, is that the liberal consensus of the 60s evaporated or was destroyed in 1968, and that the polarization of politics of the Nixon years is even more acute today. To paraphrase Mr. Perlstein, the majority of Americans are embittered, cynical, and resentful of the Establishment. They are ready to vote for anyone who can credibly pledge to tear down the Washington power structure. And that, dear readers, explains the popularity of Messrs Sanders, Cruz, and... of course... Trump.

Further reading:
Can America ever be united again?, WWW 12/4/16.
"Donald Trump taps into anger about U.S. misadventures in the world", CBC News 28/4/16

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A wise farmer's creative math solution

Thanks to Agent 6 for sending along this example of solving a problem by the creative use of simple arithmetic. It's called "Farmer's Math", and it's proof positive that the "old math" which we geezers learned in grade school is better than the "new math" they teach today.

A farmer died leaving his 17 horses to his three sons. When they read the will they found the bequest set out as follows:

* My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of my horses;

* My middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) of my horses;

* My youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of my horses.

As it's impossible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other. Finally they decided to go to a farmer friend who they considered quite smart, to see if he could work it out for them.

The farmer friend read the will patiently. After giving the problem due thought, he brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17. That increased the total to 18 horses. Then he divided the horses according to their father's will.

* Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.

* 1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 horses.

* 1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.

Adding up how many horses the sons now had, it appears that:

* Eldest son has 9.

* Middle son has 6.

* Youngest son has 2.

TOTAL number of horses = 17!

This left one horse over, so the farmer friend took his horse back to his farm. Problem solved!

Moral of the story: The secret to successful negotiation and problem-solving is to find the "18th horse", that is "the common ground". Once a person is able to find the 18th horse, the issue is resolved. At time it is difficult, but to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won't be able to find any! Wouldn't it be a good idea if all our politicians learned to do "farmer math"?!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Senator Duffy found not guilty, but is he "Honourable"?

It took over a year to do it, but a thick coat of whitewash has now been applied to the "Honourable" Michael Dennis Duffy, the Senator from Kanata [Prince Edward Island, according to the judge. Ed.], following his acquittal yesterday on 31 -- count `em, 31! -- charges of claiming expenses as a senator from Prince Edward Island on "travel status" in the national capital region, where he's actually lived for decades; claiming travel expenses as a parliamentarian while gallivanting around the country on personal or partisan business; funneling Senate money through private companies owned by a friend, and thereby avoiding Senate scrutiny in his dispersals; and accepting a bribe to repay his bad expenses once they came to light.

Mr. Justice Charles Vaillancourt astounded millions of Canadians yesterday by calling Senator Puffy an "honest man" whose conduct was "honest and reasonable". In a 308-page ruling which took the judge nearly six hours to read out, he gave the porcine solon as complete and thorough an exoneration as the Ol' Duff could have imagined in his wildest dreams.

Canucks sick of unelected party hacks gorging themselves at the Senate trough can be forgiven for wondering if the Duffy they came to know and despise was the same one Judge Vaillancourt saw in the courtroom, the one he described as a credible, hard-working senator (as former Prime Minister Steve Harper wrote on a photo introduced as an exhibit) who never padded expense claims, never ran away from questions about his residency, and sought the advice of Senate leaders and PM Harpoon himself, who all told him he was doing no wrong.

The judge's characterization of the obese sycophant was, in the words of Agent 17, enough to gag a maggot. The 31 charges were stripped of all credibility and dismissed in a complete (and sometime mocking) deconstruction of an incomplete and inept Crown case. The Senator broke no rules, Judge Vaillancourt said, because there were not rules to be broken. Some of his contracts were "unorthodox" and perhaps some of his travel could raise eyebrows, but the judge could not find Mr. Duffy was evading Senate oversight because there was no oversight in the first place.

If public money was spent foolishly or carelessly or on travel and other benefits of a personal nature, that was OK as long as Mr. Duffy included a bit of "Senate work" -- like fundraising for his party -- on his junkets. Besides, he never received any of the money personally. And, bottom line, Senator Duffy was (and still is) entitled to his entitlements.

Speaking on CBC-TV's "At Issue" panel last night, Chantal Hébert said that just because someone is not a criminal doesn't mean he is an ethical or honourable person. Just so. Having been convicted of exactly nothing, Mr. Duffy is entitled to take his extra-wide seat in the Senate once again, and be called -- or call himself -- "Honourable". But that doesn't mean anyone has to believe he is any of those nice things the judge called him. The honourable thing for him to do would be to retire to his "principal residence" in PEI. But will Mr. Duffy, who has the nerve of a canal horse, give up his place at the trough? Hah!

Note from Ed.: Full credit and a tip of the hat for the cartoon to Malcolm Mayes, whose fine work can be found in the Edmonton Journal.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why do they keep saying "Trump could still lose"?

Ed. here. Walt is a little tired and emotional after the exertions of yesterday. We had a long conversation around midnight. It was difficult to hear him above the cheering, clinking of glasses and other celebratory noises, but I have transcribed the snatches of rant that I could understand.

What is it with the [expletive deleted] lamestream press anyway? Those [orifices] just can't bring themselves to admit that millions of Americans want Trump! I'm listening to a couple of the bastards now running their mouths about how he could still lose! Can you imagine? He's got something like 89 of 95 New York delegates in today's bag and the bastards are still hoping for a brokered convention! I think one of the analysts is gonna get down on his knees and start praying. On... no... liberals don't pray in public...

A brokered convention.... What makes them think Trump couldn't win one of those? Hey, he's the king of the [expletive deleted] deal, isn't he? All he has to do is get somebody mainstream to join him on the ticket, and Cruz is done like dinner! Did you hear what Ryan said a couple of days ago? He's definitely not gonna throw his hat in the ring... for President! And he won't accept a draft. They all say that. But he never said he'd turn down being Veep, did he! Now that would be a great ticket, the classic bad cop good cop tag team. I love it!

Watching the Democrats' results now. Looks like Hillary has swept the ghettos. Sanders always was the darling of the white liberal elites. Not to mention the Jews who run the New York and Washington media, the [expletive deleted] "Trump could still lose" crowd. So it looks like voters are gonna get a clear choice between the Donald's New York values and Hellery's New York values. Hell's Kitchen or Park Avenue. Staten Island or the Bronx. What a hoot.

And you listen to me. Don't listen to those other guys. If that's the choice in November -- Trump or Clinton -- it's not even gonna be close. [Two seconds inaudible here due to crash of crockery or something] can't lose! I'm ready to bet now. Call [name deleted for reasons of privacy] the Barber and see what odds you can get. Hello? Did you get all that down? I think I'm gonna [Six seconds inaudible; line goes dead.]

Monday, April 18, 2016

VIDEO: Bill Maher calls BS on "shared values" with Muslims

Chrystia Freeland is your archtypical limousine liberal. She is the daughter of privilege, a member of Canada's elite, the Member of Parliament for one of Toronto's wealthiest areas. A darling of the Canuck lamestream media, she was recruited by Justin Trudeau and promised a seat at the cabinet table if his Liberal Party won last fall's election. Which they did. And now she's Canada's Minister of Trade.

As such, she gets to swan around the world preaching the benefits of globalization, free trade agreements and (of course) helping all the poor people of the Third World. Canadians learned only today that Ms Freeloader was in Manila on November 19th, just two weeks after the new government was sworn in, while it was pushing for the resettlement of 25,000 refugees in the Great Not-so-white North. She had a government Challenger -- excellent planes, by the way -- standing by to take her home, but instead booked herself through LAX, charging Canuck taxpayers nearly C$20,000 ($15,600 in real money) for a to Hollywood.

Why? So she could appear on the HBO program Real Time with Bill Maher! During Question Period in the Canadaian House of Commons today, Conservative MP Blane Calkins called her appearance "a vanity interview". She took part, along with Senator Angus King Jr (Ind., Maine), in a discussion on how liberals rush to defend Syrian refugees and Muslims without acknowledging that many embrace a value set that is not shared with most Americans. In Mr. Maher's opinion, "This idea that somehow we do share values, that all religions are alike, is bullshit, and we need to call it bullshit." Check it out...

VIDEO: Former Hab says "guys just get sick" of P.K. Subban

Ed. here (in Walt's absence). This is a follow-up to Poor Len Canayen's last post for the season (?): "Parsing the Montréal Canadiens end-of-season press conference". Seems like Poor Len is not the only one with doubts as to whether alleged defence star P.K. Subban will be (or should be) back in the Habs lineup next fall. In the season finale of the Montreal Gazette's Hockey Inside/Out feature, the panelists -- Stu Cowan, Chris Nilan, Jack Todd and Andie Bennett -- read between the lines delivered by Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien.

Does Marc Bergevin's job as Habs GM depend on how Michel Therrien handles the team next year? What about the dysfunctional relationship between Therrien and Subban? Is He Who Must Not Be Criticized really a problem in the room? Could he be dealt to another team before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1st? And would life be easier for captain Max Pacioretty — and would he be a better player — if he didn’t have to wear the "C"? Listen to what the panel has to say.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

VIDEO: Crazy Canuck woman jumps into tiger pen to retrieve her hat

Ed. here. Walt's absence doesn't mean there will be no posts until he return. Nosiree. Not as long as Walt's faithful agents keep forwarding tidbits like this one, sent along by Agent 3. What we have here is proof that the stupidity of the common man -- or woman -- knows no boundaries. The entire world has sunk into a deep and abiding stupidity, from which there appears to be no chance of recovery.

Today's example comes from the Great Not-so-white North where a stupid Canadian woman is captured on video climbing into the tiger cage at the Toronto zoo to get her hat. How her hat got over the fence is unknown.

Also unknown is whether the woman is Canadian-born or one of Toronto's majority of Third World immigrants. Perhaps her hat, which can't be seen clearly in the video, had some religious significance. Who knows.

What we do know is risking your life for a hat is the act of a moron, which is what the woman is called by a bystander. "You're a moron, you're a fucking moron," the man shouts. "You're a bad example to everyone else's kids." Another woman can then be seen intervening to break up the argument. In response, the man says "She jumped into a tiger cage. Are you kidding me?!"

A spokesthingy for the Toronto Zoo told CBC News that she learned of the incident through the YouTube video, and that the zoo is seeking witnesses who can help explain what happened. Perhaps they should start by asking the woman herself. Or perhaps they already did, only to be answered with a loud "Duh"!"

Friday, April 15, 2016

"I may be some time..."

Ed. here. Walt said those words to me a moment ago as headed out the door of his cabin in the pines. He is on his way to the nether regions of New York where he has a speaking engagement. While there, he will attempt to gauge the mood of voters in the Rust Belt, ahead of Tuesday's primaries. He anticipates being able to make a prediction on Wednesday. But, he cautions, he may be so charmed by the beauties of Buffalo in the spring that he may linger awhile.

Walt is available to address your chapter of the BPOE, NRA or SOCV in return for first-class airfare, hotel etc plus a modest honorarium. Send your enquiries to the usual address.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can America ever be united again?

The Glorious War of the Secession (aka the War Between the States or the Civil War) ended 151 years ago, at which time America was proclaimed once again to be the United States. Now, in the twilight of the Obama presidency, which was supposed to bring all Americans together at last, regardless of race, colour, etc etc, the people of America (if not the states) find themselves more disunited than at any time in the last century-and-a-half.

That is the theme of Rick Perlstein's Nixonland, recommended here on Sunday. Mr. Perlstein dates the present polarization American culture and politics from the hippy-dippy 60s, which saw the disintegration of the liberal consensus of the Kennedy-Johnson years and the division of the "United" States into two mutually antagonistic nations -- the Red Nation and the Blue Nation. That division is not just geographic. There are plenty of "Reds" (not the Communist variety) to be found in Massachusetts and California, and "Blues" in Kansas and -- dare I say it -- Texas.

Hellery Clinton claims that she is the one and only candidate for POTUS who can bring the country together again, and make the American states and people united. This is laughable. About the only thing that unites the Reds (and large numbers of Blues) is the belief that Ms Clinton is a phony and a crook. Even if Hellery were sincere and (God forbid) elected, the task of uniting the country is beyond the power of any more mortal. Here's what Mr. Perlstein says in the closing paragraphs of his book:

What Richard Nixon left behind was the very terms of our national self-image: a notion that there are two kinds of Americans. On the one side, that "Silent Majority", the "nonshouters". The middle-class, middle American, suburban, exurban, and rural coalition who call themselves, now, "values voters", "people of faith", "patriots", or even, simply, "Republicans" -- and who feel themselves condescended to by snobby opinion-making elites, and who rage about un-Americans, anti-Christians, amoralists, aliens.

On the other side are the "liberals", the "cosmopolitans", the "intellectuals", the "professionals" -- "Democrats". Who say they see shouting in opposition to injustice as a higher form of patriotism. Or say "live and let live." Who believe that to have "values" has more to do with a willingness to extend aid to the downtrodden than where, or if, you happen to worship -- but who look down on the first category as unwitting dupes of feckless elites who exploit sentimental pieties to aggrandize their wealth, start wars, ruin lives.

Both populations -- to speak in ideal types -- are equally, essentially, tragically American. And both have learned to consider the other not quite American at all. The argument over Richard Nixon, pro and con, gave us the language for this war.

Do Americans not hate each other enough to fantasize about killing one another, in cold blood, over political and cultural disagreements? It would be hard to argue that they do not. How did Nixonland end? It has not ended yet.

A reader has objected that Rick Perlstein wrote those words in 2008, before the election of Barack Hussein Obama, the first black (or African-American, whatever) President, the one who has healed America and brought all Americans together. Has the Prez himself not said that race relations in the USA are better now than at any time in history? Well yes, that's what he said, but the claim that the war of which Mr. Perlstein writes ended somewhere between 2008 and 2016 is nonsense. If anything, the cracks in the American body politic have widened, and the war has intensified.

The 2015 American Values Survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, is titled "Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Mistrust". It found that about three-quarters of Republicans believe that the federal government looks out for the interests of blacks, Hispanics, gays and women. But not quite half of Republicans think that the government looks out for Christians or middle-class people. Democrats, on the other hand, overwhelmingly think that the federal government looks out for the rich and big business.

Writing in the Economist this week, "Lexington" asserts that the distrust between groups exposed in the survey means that "it is not useful to say that most Americans support policy X or Y. The real question fo ask voters is: Do you think this policy helps or hurts 'people like you'? The query reliably exposes deep gulfs between different races, generations and parties." Which is just what Mr. Perlstein said, eight years ago.

Footnote and caveat: When I recommended Nixonland, I should have included a warning that Mr. Perlstein is badly in need of an editor/proofreader. [Does anyone, anywhere, employ proofreaders any more? What's wrong with Spiel-Chequer? Ed.] His book runs to 748 pages of fairly dense type, and that's not counting the endnotes. And where, I wonder, does the author get words like "inspirit" (for "inspire", I guess)? If you want to finish Nixonland before you vote, start now.

Parsing the Montréal Canadiens end-of-season press conference

Walt here. Last Wednesday, at the end of "Re P.K. Subban - Told ya so!", Poor Len Canayen said he wouldn't be back on WWW unless something spectacular happened in the off-season. Yesterday Canadiens General Manager did the customary end-of-season presser, flanked by the club's President Geoff Molson and coach Michel Therrien. Nothing spectacular happened so it's up to me to give Habs fans a quick update.

In what the Gazoo called "full damage control mode", M Bergevin said he had great confidence in the coaching staff -- including those directing the AHL farm team -- and everybody would be back, except for... wait for it... Craig Ramsay, brought in last year as "power play consultant". Mr. Ramsay happens to be the only anglophone on the staff, but that had nothing to do with his being let go.

When it came to the players, M Bergevin said his job was to improve the team. Right. When asked if P.K. Subban was on the market, M Bergevin said no, he was not, but stopped short of calling The One Who Must Not Be Criticized "untouchable". Here, in English, is what he said. "Wayne Gretzky was traded [at the height of his career]. Am I trying to move P.K. Subban? No. Am I trying to move Carey Price? No. Am I trying to move Max Pacioretty? No. Is my job to make this team better? Yes. To move any of these guys, including P.K., it would have to be something very special. And as a hockey man, I have to look at my options. But is that reality? Probably not. But if I don’t look at all my options, I’m not doing my job as a general manager." Clear enough?

Mr. Subban is two years into an eight-year, C$72-million (= US$55 million) contract and has a no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1st. How much time and persuasion will it take M Bergevin to talk some other team -- the Maple Laffs perhaps or the Edmonton Spoilers -- into making room on their payroll for that huge salary, and room in their dressing-room for that huge ego? The mind boggles. But for M Bergevin, that's clearly the task at hand.

À lire: "P.K. Subban sous la loupe", Guillaume Lefrançois, La Presse.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

America is still "Nixonland" (book recommendation)

A kindly old lady from Whittier CA had this to say about a Republican candidate. "I know it's against religion to hate anybody, but I just can't help hating that man." To whom was she referring? Not Donald Trump, not Ted Cruz, but... wait for it... Richard Nixon. The quote is taken from the opening pages of Rick Perlstein's monumental book Nixonland (Scribner, 2008), which Walt commends to anyone trying to make sense of this year's campaign.

Mr. Perlstein chose to write about Nixon and his times in 2008, 40 years after he was elected President, because (as the cliché goes) history repeats itself. Over and over again. The book, you see, is not really about Mr. Nixon so much as the disintegration of the liberal consensus of the Kennedy-Johnson years and the polarization of American politics. The 1968 election pitted the friends of Nixon against the enemies of Nixon. The author writes: the America where two separate and irreconcilable sets of apocalyptic fears coexist in the minds of two separate and irreconcilable groups of Americans. The first group, enemies of Richard Nixon, are the spiritual heirs of [Adlai] Stevenson and [John Kenneth] Galbraith. They take it as an axiom that if Richard Nixon and the values associated with him triumph, America itself might end.

The second group are the people who...believe, as did Nixon [himself] that if the enemies of Nixon triumph -- the Alger Hisses and Helen Gahagan Douglases, the Herblocks and hippies, the George McGoverns and all the rest -- America might end.

The [Democratic National Committee] was right: an amazingly large segment of the population disliked and mistrusted Richard Nixon instinctively. What they did not acknowledge was that an amazingly large segment of the population also trusted him as their savior. "Nixonland> is what happens when these two groups try to occupy a country together. By the end of the 1960s, Nixonland came to encompass the entire political culture of the United States. It would define it, in fact, for the next fifty years.

Let's see. 1968 plus 50 years brings us to... 2018. Who will be POTUS and Leader of the Free World then? Whether the Republicans pick Mr Trump or Senator Cruz, or the Democrats pick Senator Sanders or Secretary Clinton, is immaterial. In November supporters of both candidates, red and blue, will be utterly convinced that if their enemies win, America will end.

Talk of uniting the nation is rubbish. The cracks in American society and politics which appeared with the Watts race riots of 1965, have grown wider and deeper. The nation needs a catharsis. But will it get one? That's up to the voters, who, Mr. Perlstein says, are the real heroes of his book. Read it.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A timely guide for Catholic voters

A Catholic friend has sent a link to a pastoral letter from Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. That country, like the USA, has elections in the offing, for the highest offices in the land. In his letter, the prelate offers some guidance to help voters choose "God-fearing leaders who are also bravely and stubbornly loyal to the flag and to the people."

To know which candidates are God-fearing and deserving of our vote, Archbishop Villegas says we should use the age-old standards of our Judeo-Christian tradition, as set out in the Ten Commandments. Here are the questions we need to ask them, and ourselves. (The Commandments, in a modern translation, follow the numbering in the Catholic Bible, as it has been since 382 AD.)

I. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. Do not vote for an atheist or for someone who makes fun of the name of God. A Catholic cannot support a candidate who vows to wipe out religion from public life, or whose ideology binds him or her to make of the country a secular state that has no tolerance for religion in its public life.

II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Do not vote for candidates who have a history of violating oaths they have made. A person commits perjury when he makes a promise under oath with no intention of keeping it, or when after promising on oath he does not keep it. Perjury is a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech. Nor should one pledge oneself by oath to commit an evil deed.

III. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. If the candidate professes to be a Christian, how does he or she look at Sunday worship, Sunday rest especially for the poor, Sunday time with the family? Has the candidate fallen to the pursuit of some sort of "ideology of performance" introducing a harsh, impersonal and self-centered attitude, contributing to the culture of heightened anxiety, hyper-activism and success orientation, without God in public policies?

Archbishop Villegas spoke of the trend to "dynastic politics", which is even more apparent in the Philippines than in the USA, when he wrote:

IV. Honor your father and your mother. Do not vote for family members running for the same positions as family members before them to perpetrate the family's hold on public office. Christian voters should prudently choose others who may have equal if not superior abilities and competencies for the position.

V. You shall not kill. A Catholic voter commits a grave sin in voting for candidates who oppose the Lord's teachings on the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death. Please demand that the candidates state in clear terms their position on issues such as abortion, the return of the death penalty, euthanasia and extra-judicial killings.

VI. You shall not commit adultery. The Church’s position on marriage and human sexuality is positive and uplifting. The Christian view of sexuality and marriage presents the dignity and authentic freedom of single and married life that is truly fulfilling, desirable, and fruitful. How does this candidate view marriage and sexuality? How does this candidate live the marriage commitment? What is his position on divorce? Does he mock the institution of marriage?

VII. You shall not steal. Is the candidate committed to the common good? Has this candidate stolen public money and remains obstinate and stubborn in making the required restitution of stolen goods?

VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Lying is the intentional misrepresentation of the truth by word, gesture, or even silence. To deliberately intend to mislead other persons who have the right to know the truth can do real violence to them. For it denies them the knowledge they need to make their judgments and decisions. Beware of liars. Lying is a devil with many faces. Be wise. Watch out. Do not vote for liars.

IX. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. Does the candidate treat women with respect? In providing sex education for children, does the candidate promote healthy interpersonal relationships and proper bodily expressions? Does the candidate promote an adulterous lifestyle by his life example? Does the candidate support or promote the ideology of a homosexual lifestyle without respect for modesty and right conduct?

X. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. What has the candidate done for the poor? Have his programs for the poor led to the liberation of the poor from the shackles of poverty or has this candidate promoted a culture of patronage so that the poor may be perennially dependent and hence easier to manipulate? Do we see signs of unjust craving for victory in elections, envy at the success of others? A candidate who spends his time demolishing the reputation and tarnishing the good name of fellow candidates may have nothing positive to offer, and he debases the level of political discourse by calling attention to the shortcomings of his rivals and competitors.

Archbishop Villegas concludes his exhortation thus: You are called to be authentic Catholic voters who decide from prayer and conscience. You are called to take courage and make moral decisions. Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God desires it. Be free from the tyranny and pressure of trends and herds. Do it right! Choose what is right according to the Ten Commandments. Lord guide us with your grace. Amen.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

UN identifies root cause of terrorism

The following story appeared on the AP mojo wire this morning....

Government envoys, civil society advocates, social media gurus and U.N. officials have started a two-day conference billed as the first of its kind to tackle violent extremism, part of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to address the root causes of terrorism.

Jehangir Khan, director of a U.N. counterterrorism task force, said violent extremism is threatening all major U.N. missions and noted that Ban has made the issue a priority in his last year in office.

Following terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Beirut and beyond in recent months, Khan said Thursday: "Today the spectre of violent extremism stalks the world again."

Ban is expected to speak to reporters as the conference, co-sponsored by Switzerland, ends on Friday. The results aim to complement a U.N. review of its counterterrorism strategy this June.

Let me précis that. Violent extremism is the root cause of terrorism. Thank God we have the United Nations to tell us that! It would be even more helpful if they could identify the religion/culture that embraces and preaches violent extremism. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Well-dressed fat lady" deemed offensive, clothing store clerk fired

Every now and then I rant about how fat is the new norm for the English-speaking peoples (in alphabetical order: Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians). The AABC countries are facing an epidemic of not just fattitude but obesity. If you have any doubt about this, just watch a couple of episodes of Judge Judy or check out one of my favourite blogs, People of Walmart.

The females of our species seem more susceptible to the fat virus or gene or whatever it is. That's a fact of life, but not a fact you're supposed to state so plainly. Calling someone "fat" is now known as "body-shaming", an act of political incorrectness to which no decent slim person would ever stoop. (Fat people, of course, cannot stoop.) Just the other day, Scott "Dilbert" Adams wrote, "Most civilized people agree that so-called 'fat-shaming' has no place in our modern world. The unwritten rules of polite society say that a person’s appearance is out of bounds for criticism."

I disagree, because I believe most fat people could lose weight if they really wanted to, by eating less or exercising more or both. It's essentially a question of self-control and self-discipline, isn't it. But we can't say things like that. The PC thing to do is encourage fat people to feel good about themselves, no matter how gross they may look. Better they should think of themselves as "curvy" of "shapely" or "plus-sized". The last expression is that of a lady named Rebecca, pictured, who writes a blog called The Plus Side of Me.

Rebecca is the kind of BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) who shops at a "plus-size" retail chain called Addition Elle. (Geddit? -- Lots of pictures of BBWs on their website, if you're into that kind of thing.) They have an outlet in Edmonton, Canada, which has a vacancy at the moment for a saleslady/clerk/thingy. Why? Because they just fired one after she posted a comment online using the words "well-dressed fat lady".

Connie Levitsky, who only started working at Addition Elle in the West Edmonton Mall last week, said she was fired within days due to a Facebook post she made about the store's clientele. Her post read: "Conquering the world, one well-dressed fat lady at a time."

Ms Levitsky told CTV news her boss called that language unacceptable. "My manager specifically said 'fat' isn't a word that the company wants to associate themselves with," she said, noting that her manager said the company preferred words like "curvy" and "shapely". But Levitsky said those words are often associated with a certain highly-sexualized image of plus-sized women, like the ones featured in the company's lingerie ads. (Hey, I already gave you the link to the website!)

"If you go into any Addition Elle or Penningtons or Reitmans, you know that's not how all fat women look," she said. "So to use words like 'curvy' or 'shapely,' where you're essentially talking about a very specific type of fat woman, I think that's doing a disservice to the clientele that they were afraid I was going to drive away."

So let's have no more of this "fat-shaming". As an alternative to telling someone he/she is fat, Walt suggests asking politely, "Are you getting into the same elevator as I am? Perhaps I'd better wait for the next one." Or maybe just hold your tongue. You're welcome.

Re P.K. Subban - Told ya so!

Poor Len here. On April Fool's Day I predicted that P.K.Subban, the Montréal Canadiens so-called defenceman, would not be seen in a game again this season. Some doubters accused me of making an April Fool joke. At least one suggested that the wish was father to the thought. [You're saying it wasn't? Ed.] Well, today Habs management announced officially that Subban will not return. Neither will Carey Price, the best goalie in the world. See "Price et Subban ne seront pas de retour cette saison", by Guillaume Lefrançois.

Told ya so! Lifetime pct 1.000!

The big question now, regarding Subban, is what the team has in mind for him for next year. I wouldn't be surprised if Marc Bergevin is on the phone, even as I write, talking trade with, ohhh, the Edmonton Oilers. (Just sayin'.) Perhaps M Bergevin is even offering to eat part of P.K.'s ridiculously expensive contract, if some other team will just get him out of the Canadiens room.

Following last night's embarrassing loss to the Florida Panthers, I made a little list of the players I'd keep, if I were M Bergevin. All others, including Subban, should be on the table, so to speak.

Goaltenders: Price, Condon, Lindgren. Condon isn't as bad as last night's game would suggest. He just needs more help from the other 18 guys.

Defence: Markov (if he doesn't wish to retire), Emelin, Petry, Barberio, Pateryn. Recent defensive lapses have been more the fault of the call-ups from the Icecaps, and they can't be blamed too much, in the circs.

Forwards: Pacioretty (will wear the "C" more easily without Subban pretending it shoulda been him), Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Eller, Flynn, Carr... errr... that's it, and that right there is the problem. I'll be sorry to see Plekanec go, but you can't expect to keep your job if you don't score at least once per month. At least three Icecaps players who were called up to give them a chance showed they belong with... the Icecaps!

I'm not going to put my awesome record on the line for any of this. I'm just saying what I'd do if I were Marc Bergevin (and if Geoff Molson would let me). Unless something startling happens between now and the end of September, I'll be back then to compare my list of keepers with what M Bergevin did over the summer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Mississippi law makes it no state for queers

Breaking news from Jackson! Mississippi governor Phil Bryant has signed a law that allows private and public businesses to refuse service to gay couples, if serving them would violate the proprietors' religious beliefs.

The intent of the law is to protect those who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should only take place inside such marriages, and that male and female genders are unchangeable. Those people are known as Christians.

The law allows churches, religious charities and privately held businesses to decline services to people violating those beliefs. Individual government employees may also opt out, although the measure says governments must still provide services.

I will pause now to insert my earplugs, against the noise of righteous indignation from the gay rights gang, lamestream media and Hellery Clinton.

B&B for BDSM - only in Canada?


Dear reader, if you need to have either of the terms "B&B" or "BDSM" explained, you probably shouldn't be reading this. But since Walt knows you will... "B&B" = "bed & breakfast", cheap and cheerful lodgings, usually in someone's home, where a weary traveller can find repose after a hard day on the road. According to Wikipedia, "BDSM" = "a variety of erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other interpersonal dynamics". Combine the two et voilà: B&B for BDSM!

But do places like the one pictured really exist? Why, yes! And not just in latter-day Sodoms and Gomorrahs like New York and Toronto. The recreation room in the photo is to be found within Euphoria B&B, in beautiful downtown Stellarton, Nova Scotia! (That would be just off Highway 104, about halfway between Truro and Antigonish. You're welcome.)

Euphoria B&B is a home business opened last fall by owners Kelly McAlear and Leslie Ogle. And yes, it caters to adults (only!) who want to experience role-playing, bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism. And other interpersonal dynamics. Walt can't provide a link to the website, since it's been taken down after a visit from Inspector Knacker of the local constabulary, who questioned whether they had the right permit to operate a business out of their home according to the town bylaws. They didn't so they stopped advertising.

However, word of the B&B has spread, resulting in a number of meetings with various families and town officials. Kim Murray, a neighbour who found out about the bed and breakfast two weeks ago, said, "We're a little shocked." But the B&B owners said there was no extra charge for that, and that they'd already applied for the correct permit.

The neighbour isn't satisfied. "I think the people with small children seem to be more concerned," she told the CBC. "They don't know who's going to be in their neighbourhood and who will be coming." [Kudos to Walt for avoiding a cheap joke there. Ed.]

A town planner in Stellarton says if the couple obtain a permit and the location passes a fire inspection, the town cannot force the business to stay closed. However, there is a neighbourhood covenant for Poplar Street in Stellarton -- where the bed and breakfast is located -- which indicates there must be no business or professional activity on the road.

"If somebody felt that a property owner was in contravention of one of the covenants," he said, "they could seek legal advice and perhaps take some kind of civil action."

The CBC, always keen on stories promoting "alternative lifestyles", contacted a user group in Halifax for comments. The Society of Bastet, where people can carry out sexual fetishes and practise an alternative lifestyles, revealed that the "kink scene" is more common than many realize. An anonymous spokesthingy said that between 30 and 100 people participate in kink parties in the Halifax area on a regular basis.

According to FetLife, "the largest and most popular FREE Social Network for the Kinky community", there are 17,000 members in Nova Scotia.

The Society of Bastet member told the CBC one of the misconceptions about BDSM is that it's rough sex, à la Jian Ghomeshi. But, he said, that' not always the case. "BDSM does not have to include sex. If two people are consenting, they can have sex with their BDSM — that is fine — but they don't have to," he said. "At Bastet, and at the bars and the parties too, sex is off the table. [On the floor, perhaps? Ed.] So that way you can just focus on the S&M and not have to worry about having that sexual pressure there."

[Space does not permit any further titillating quotes of comments. I have tied up Walt's hands and inserted a gag in his mouth, and won't remove it until he begs and grovels. Ed.]

Monday, April 4, 2016

Dutch Freedom Party leader speaks out on Brussels attacks

The Dutch -- or their government, at least -- are known for their liberal views on everything that matters: drugs, sex, religion and race. To prove their political correctness and love of all mankind, they keep prosecuting Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), for saying what the majority of his countrymen think, namely that it would be good if there were fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Five years ago, Mr Wilders was acquitted of charges of making Islamophobic remarks. Last month he was put on trial again for allegedly inciting hatred against the Netherlands' Moroccan minority. His case came up as calls for a ban on Muslim immigration have been voiced in other countries, such as France (by Marine Le Pen) and even the USA (by Donald Trump).

What did Mr Wilders say this time to bring the wrath of the PC police down on his head? Dutch prosecutors say that in March 2014 he asked a crowd of supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. No prizes for guessing that they replied by chanting "Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!", to which Mr Wilders responded, "We'll take care of that."

In addition to the "fewer" comment, Mr Wilders referred to Moroccans as "scum" in a television broadcast. The result? One charge of "discrimination" and a second of inciting hatred of Moroccans, who make up about 2% of the Netherlands 17 million population. If convicted he could go to jail for as long as a year and could be fined a maximum of 7400 euros ($8400 in real money). Walt is pleased to present an artist's concept of what the sentencing hearing could be like.

As noted, the "demonization" of "Moroccans" -- read "Muslims" -- of which Mr Wilders stands accused happened two years ago. More recently (i.e. in March 2016), some terrorists who happen to be (or have been) Muslims of, errr, North African descent, killed some three dozen Belgians in suicide bombings in Brussels. The attackers are believed to have lived in that city's Molenbeek neighbourhood. Belgian police said at least 90 returned ISIS fighters were living there.

The morning after the bombings, Geert Wilders took part in a panel discussion on Breitbart Radio (London), warning that the attack is just the beginning of growing Islamist violence. European Commission insider Hermann Kelly told Breitbart Radio he was concerned that so many Islamic extremists live just miles from the political capital of the European Union. "This is amazing to me," he said, "that these people can kill people abroad, come here, and then walk free in the centre of Brussels."

Mr Wilders then said, “Returned Syria fighters are a huge threat. They are dangerous predators roaming our streets. It is absolutely unbelievable that our governments allow them to return. And it is incredible that, once returned, they are not imprisoned. In the Netherlands, we have dozens of these returned jihadists. Our
government allows most of them to freely walk our streets and refuses to lock them up. I demand that they be detained at once. Every government in the West, which refuses to do so, is a moral accessory if one of these monsters commits an atrocity."

Whether any further prosecutions will ensue is uncertain.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

What happens if you tell the truth about "black culture"

Meet Wendy Bell, a hitherto successful Pittsburgh-area news anchor. In at 18-year career with WTAE-TV (a Hearst station), Ms Bell won 21 regional Emmys [Emmies? Ed.], and was highly regarded for her professionalism, and charming on-air personality. It all came to an end on Wednesday, when she was fired after "engaging in racial profiling of the worst kind" on her official Facebook page.

Walt can't show you the FB post that wrote finis to Ms Bell's career, since it has been removed, along with her profile on the WTAE-TV website. And you've probably guessed already which race it was that Ms Bell "profiled" in a negative way. (I won't say "libelled" or "slandered", because in any action for defamation, the truth is the best defence!) Hint: it wasn't Caucasians or Hispanics or Asians. No indeed. What Ms Bell said in a classic CDM (Career-Destroying Move) was that the killers in a brutal area murder were "young black men".

The problem was that Ms Bell posted her assumption -- for that's what it was -- before anyone was taken into custody following a horrific mass shooting in Wilkinsburg PA earlier in the month. "You needn't be a criminal profiler," she wrote, "to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday. They are young black men, likely in their teens or early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers, and their mothers work multiple jobs."

Would it come as a surprise to anyone if that description turned out to be accuratge? Of course not. The trouble was that it's politically incorrect! In Obama's America, you can't call a spade a spade.

A statement from Hearst Television said, "WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell. Wendy's recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards." Apparently those standards forbid any suggestion that black people might be responsible for black-on-black crime. Even that phrase makes a racist assumption, eh.

For her part, Ms Bell issued the customary abject apology, "I now understand that some of the words I chose were insensitive and could be viewed as racist. I regret offending anyone. I'm truly sorry."

That was the required act of contrition, but Ms Bell expressed her real feelings in an interview with AP, saying that she didn’t get a "fair shake" from the station, and that the story was not about her, but about "African-Americans being killed by other African-Americans. It makes me sick! What matters is what's going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country.... I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh, that I love dearly. My stories, they struck a nerve. They touched people, but it’s not enough. More needs to be done. The problem needs to be addressed."

It's hard though, Walt thinks, to address a problem if you can't even mention it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Poor Len predicts P.K. Subban will not return to Habs lineup

Poor Len Canayen here. I have held my tongue -- speaking figuratively of course -- for most of the Montréal Canadiens protracted fall from the heavens. But, with less than an hour to go before noon on this First Day of April, I have a premonition which I must share with you.

The Habs' problems started with the injury to Carey Price -- all-star goaltender and most valuable player and everything else -- last fall. But that was only the beginning. There have been other injuries, players brought up from the AHL, players sent down to the AHL, players traded out and players traded in, all making it necessary to have a programme to know who's playing from one game to the next. That's a problem not just for fans, but for coach Michel Therrien and for the players themselves. I can almost hear them asking, as they step on to the ice, "Who's that new guy? What happened to so-and-so?" It's hard to play as a team when you haven't been properly introduced!

One play who has been absent for the last couple of weeks, by reason of injury, is the allegedly "transcendant" (Hello, Dave Stubbs!) alleged defenceman, P.K. Subban, who has been the subject of my rants for a couple of years now. Even before he was accidentally crunched by teammate Alexei Emelin, there was a lot of talk, behind closed doors and then out in the open, about the effect of Subban's gigantic ego on the play and the morale of the rest of the team. As Stu Cowan put it in the Gazoo last week, that ego takes up a lot of room in the room!

The silver lining in the cloud of Pernell Karl's injury, then, is that it gave other members of the defence corps a chance to show their stuff. And so they did, not always, but sometimes -- particularly in last night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mike Condon, the rookie backup goalie who has played in over 50 games, got his first NHL shutout as the Habs blanked the Bolts 3-0. He was ably supported by just five defencemen -- Nathan Beauliu having been injured in the first period -- of whom three (Pateryn, Dietz and Hanley) have played in only a couple of dozen games. All five did just fine, merci!

Beaulieu's injury raised the question of whether Subban, who travelled to Florida with the team, would return tomorrow night, when Montréal skates into the lair of the Panthers. The answer, provided this morning by Coach Therrien, is NO! Yet another member of the St. John's Icecaps -- Brett Lernout -- will join his three teammates, leaving Andrei Markov and Emelin as the only experienced defence duo wearing the bleu-blanc-et-rouge.

The official reason given for letting Subban watch the game from the press box is that he isn't ready yet. They don't want to make the same mistake as they did with Price, by bringing him back before he fully recovers from his injury. That's the party line. But the real reason (Poor Len can reveal) is for the good of the team! Keeping the divisive defenceman out of the lineup avoids any more fighting and finger-pointing in the dressing room.

And letting Subban sit gives GM Marc Bergevin the freedom to shop him around -- his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1st -- without fear that he'll be reinjured and thus of less value to another team. Poor Len predicts that He Who Must Not Be Criticized has played his last game as a Canadien. You read it here first.


Note from Ed.: We are concerned, as we know our readers are, about the increasing number of seemingly random attacks on police and civilians in and around the nation's capital. The possibility that these incidents are not the work of deranged individuals, but coordinated acts of terrorism cannot be dismissed out of hand. At this perilous time in the history of the United States, the country needs a strong leader, someone who will take steps to make America safe again. Last night, a plain brown envelope was slipped under the door of Walt's cabin in the pines. It contains a copy of the executive order which one of the candidates for President will issue once elected and sworn in.








Donald J. Trump