Thursday, October 18, 2018

VIDEO: "Pope Paul VI: Patron Saint of Apostates" - so funny but so sad

The Catholic (?) Church is churning out so many new saints these days that keeping track of them is like counting baby spiders. The reasons for the canonization of some of them are as obscure as everything else that comes out of Pope Francis's mouth, but one goal seems to be to legitimize the disastrous Second Vatican Council by making every pope since them (except for John Paul I) a saint. The latest, raised to sainthood last week in spite of the lack of evidence of two miracles or anything else of great note, was Pope Paul VI, the one who let "the smoke of Satan" -- his own words -- into the Church.

Father Celatus, who writes the new "Last Word" column in The Remnant newspaper, composed a delightfully devilish comment, in rhyme and music (the tune is that of "Good King Wenceslas"), which Walt is pleased to share. God save His Holy Church!

Comment from Ed.: The only reason Benedict XVI and Francis haven't been canonized is that they're not dead yet!

VIDEO: "O Cannabis" (new Canadian anthem)

It wasn't headline news in the rest of the world, but the recreational use of marijuana became legal across Canada yesterday. Numerous tickets for DUI and other offences have already been handed out by Inspector Knacker of the Mounties. 71% of Canucks told a pollster they couldn't care less. But it's another feather in the rainbow cap of Prime Minister Just In Trudeau, who made this the centrepiece of his 2015 election campaign. Maybe next year he'll promise to legalize opioids or crystal meth?

Thanks to Agent 6, we have this delightful video of Canada's new national anthem, "O Cannabis".

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book review: "How De Body?", by Teun Voeten

The poke in the ribs to write "War is Africa's natural condition. Can we change that?" (WWW 16/10/18) came from How De Body? (St. Martin's Press, New York, 2002), Dutch journalist Teun Voeten's account of his terrifying journey through the very uncivil "civil" war in Sierra Leone (west Africa) in the late 1990s.

"How de body?" is a customary greeting -- like "How's it going?" -- in Krio, the pidjin widely spoken in Sierra Leone. Mr Voeten apparently chose it as the title of his book because the bodies he saw and photographed -- and they were many -- were in pretty bad shape. His powerful photographs speak volumes about the sad state of Sierra Leone  at the turn of the century, and of the nature of Africa itself. As I said yesterday, war is Africa's natural condition.

The purpose of the author's first trip to west Africa, in 1998, was to photograph and write about the child soldiers who were fighting on both sides of the conflict that had raged in Sierra Leone for nearly a decade. Mere boys (and girls too) like this one.

A scrawny kid like this, when carrying a Kalashnikov, can make a pretty big hole in you, and as the clash between the military junta and ECOMOG -- the West African peacekeepers -- raged around him, Mr Voeten was forced to hide in the bush, fearful of being robbed, tortured and/or killed by drug-crazed, gun-toting "soldiers" of either side.

ECOMOG -- the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group -- was a west African multilateral armed force established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The idea was that separate armies of Africans would work together to make and keep the peace in an African state. ("Nation" is the wrong word to use here. The concept of the nation state doesn't really exist in Africa, divided as it is by tribalism, language and religion.) To no-one's surprise, it didn't work very well, which is why the United Nations eventually felt compelled to involve itself in the conflict.

That didn't work very well either. Mr Voeten tells us that by 2000, "the situation in Sierra Leone...again deteriorated. The 25,000 UN peacekeepers that were stationed in the country...proved to be largely ineffective. Civil war flared up; cease-fires and treaties were broken, and...the fighting has spilled over the border to Guinea and Liberia."

But UN intervention, the globalists and progressives think to this day is better than leaving the Africans to exterminate one another. Hence the UN mission in Mali, which was the subject of yesterday's post.

What's wrong with Africa that bloody conflicts of the kind Teun Voeten saw up close and personal keep recurring? They seem to be unavoidable natural phenomena -- the work of evil "big men", full of ambition and greed, with no moral compass or concept of civilization to guide them. Mr Voeten quotes English cultural anthropologist Paul Richards: "What we are seeing in Sierra Leone is the total collapse of the nation-state. Criminal netyworks rush in to fill the power vacuum, which is an oasis of lawlessness and institutionalized corruption. Those networks have every reason to make sure the state of chaos continues. And vice versa."

Teun Voeten concludes How De Body? by saying that he won't give up on Sierra Leone. "Despite the difficulties," he writes, "I believe there is hope.... Eventually peace will come. ...'We just have to be patient.'"

I understand his feelings. Having lived there for years in the 1990s, I can attest to the saying that Africa gets in your blood ...sometimes literally, but forget about that. It's easy to love the land and the ordinary people, when they are left alone by foreign interventionists and by their own corrupt and cruel leaders.

Where I disagree with Mr Voeten is in thinking that the "big men" will give way to leaders like Nelson Mandela -- he was an exception -- or that the UN and the legions of western do-gooders will ever leave Africans to develop (or not) at their own pace and in their own way. I believe there is no hope for Africa, and that we westerners do Africa and ourselves a disservice by trying to change human nature.

Footnote: The Deutsche Welle website has a report from the World Bank, which sez (headline news!) "Poverty rates remain high in Africa". "Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the overall number of extremely poor people is increasing rather than decreasing, according to the World Bank's latest Poverty and Shared Prosperity report." No kidding! But don't worry. The white folks at the World Bank believe things can be turned around, with their help of course. Just like Teun Voeten.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

War is Africa's natural condition. Can we change that?

Since the end of the colonial era, there has always been war in Africa. With one or two exceptions, such as Botswana, you can't point to a map of sub-Saharan Africa without finding a country that has at some point been wracked by riot, revolution, war or even genocide. It's the nature of the people -- emotional, excitable, easily led and predisposed to mindless and horrendous violence. I know it's politically incorrect to say that, but read the histories of Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Moçambique, both Congos, South Africa -- the list goes on -- and see if that's not right. Check out How De Body by Dutch journalist Teun Voeten (St. Martin's Press, New York, 2002) for a graphic description of how things were in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. We'll come back to that book in another post.

Right now there's a "civil" war going on in the Congo which was formerly known as Zaïre and has its capital at Kinshasa. The government's writ runs only in the capital region. The rest of the country is divided amongst a number of cruel and evil warlords, fighting for control of the immense mineral wealth that includes "blood diamonds". In spite of the efforts of United Nations "peacekeepers", the Congo has never, repeat never known peace since it was "liberated" from the Belgians.

In west Africa, most of which was (and in some ways still is) run by the French, another "civil" war rages in Mali. What? Never heard of it? If you've ever been told to go to Timbuktu, well, that's in Mali. You could look it up. That war has racial and religious overtones (surprised?) with the Muslim Arab(ish) north pitted against the Christian/animist African (read: black) south. The UN stepped in to referee that vicious conflict a couple of years ago, and so far hasn't had much luck keeping the combatants from each other's throats.

In June of this year, Canada's loopy prime minister Trudeau, in yet another act of virtue-signalling at the expense of his people, sent a couple of hundred Canadian troops to Mali, where Canada has no dog in the fight but is going to jump in anyway. The Canadian contingent consists of a few helicopters and support crews, whose task is to medevac other UN soldiers who get caught in the crossfire. So far they've flown exactly two (2) missions, both on 9/11.

Yesterday Maj-Gen. Dave Fraser (Retd), who led Canada's troops in the ill-fated Afghanistan mission, admitted on CTV's Power Play that the Canuck peacekeeping mission in Mali has "no prospect of immediate success." He told host Don Martin, "The political overtones and what's going on in this country and this mission are ugly. This is not going to be short mission." No kidding!

Although Mr Socks promised that Canadian soldiers and airmen (not many female troops could be persuaded to go) would not be placed in harm's way, since they would only be flying medical evacuation missions and providing support from the skies, the likelihood of some poor non-com coming home in a body bag is increasing, as the security situation in the shithole has deteriorated sharply in recent months. Says the retired general, "It’s as bad, if not worse, than what we experienced in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria."

Continuing in mililtary-speak, Maj-Gen. Fraser said, "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this mission isn’t going in the right direction from a trajectory point of view." He explained that the key issue is a lack of leadership. Despite no-worse-than-usual elections this summer, he said the insurgents are winning the fight on the ground. That's because "Peacekeeping can't be effective without a strong civilian government leadership that’s running the government, that's actually providing oversight for the military and the police forces and that’s not happening fast enough." For "fast enough", read "at all" and that's all ye need to know.

At the end of the day, the general warned, this hurts some people more than others. In a brilliant statement of the obvious, he said, "The local people are the ones who are going to be adversely affected." Can the problem be solved? Yes, says Maj-Gen. Fraser, if the United Nations changes its approach. "The UN's not getting the locals to get the leadership or the women engaged fast enough, and they're going to lose this race." If nothing changes, he said, the situation can only continue to deteriorate. So the answer to Walt's headline question is, errr, probably not. Which begs the question of what we're doing there!

Further reading: "Mal y soit qui Mali pense", 15/1/13. Kudos to Ed. for that brilliant headline, which only a monarchist would get!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Queen of the Franco-phonies loses job but keeps her head

Whatever happened to Michaëllel Jean? That's the question more than one Canadian [How many more? Ed.] has asked about the former Governess-General of Canuckistan, whose term in office expired in 2010, to the relief of Canadians generally and the Liberal government of the day in particular.

As Walt explained in "A Haïtienne who won't be feeling too much pain" (13/1/10), the lovely and fragrant Ms Jean was (supposedly) a "refugee" from Haïti -- this was before the big earthquake -- who came to Canada as a teen and immediately attracted the attention of an older white guy (surprise!) who married her and got her a job at Radio Canada (the French arm of the CBC). Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin named her as the representative of Her Britannic Majesty because she (Ms Jean) was: a black, female "refugee", who was bilingual and a certified member of Canada's chattering classes. Too bad she wasn't disabled, but 5 out of 6 ain't bad.

The big question in 2010 was what to do with Ms Jean after her term as G-G expired? She had acquired a taste for the perqs of the vice-regal style -- the mansion, the limousine, the servants, and her very own regiment of soldiers. Hard to go back to living like a peasant. So favours were called in and, following the disastrous earthquake of 12 January 2010, Madame Jean (as she became) was appointed the United Nations "Special Ambassador for Haïti", to help raise money for the people of that wretched country.

Mme Jean immediately went to, errr, Paris, to establish an office and a residence suitable to her new position and regal lifestyle. After that she appeared on TV a few times -- notably on the CBC, of course -- but if she ever set her dainty feet in the dust of her native land, her visit went unrecorded. Ed. has asked Dr Google who has come up with nothing.

But every cloud has a silver lining. Since she was already comfortably ensconced in Paris, Mme Jean immediately began campaigning for a better job. With the support of both Canada and Québec, she was elected in 2014 as Secretary-General of la Francophonie, an international talking shop which likes to think of itself as the French equivalent of the British Commonwealth. Since the Franco-phony's mission is to talk and talk (in French) and do nothing (in any language), Mme Jean was the perfect fit.

Just as the British Commonwealth has its queen, so la Francophonie now had its queen, or empress... whatever... Mme Jean immediately moved into more palatial digs, racking up queen-sized expenses befitting her status. After all, the surrender-monkeys surely wouldn't want the head of their "organization" to lack anything that the British monarch had, would they?

After four years of wretched excess, Mme Jean's term came to an end this month. To no-one's surprise, Mme Jean refused to go gracefully, and campaigned hard for a second term, even though she was considered a long shot. She appealed to Canada and Québec for their support, and thought she had Canada's ultra-liberal Prime Minister Just In Trudeau -- an ardent feminist and admirer of non-white persons -- on her side.

Sadly for Mme Jean, she was wrong. Last Friday the member nations of la Francophonie, meeting in the well-known French-speaking nation of Armenia [Eh? Ed.], chose a Rwandan, Louise Mushikiwabo, as their new queen/empress/secretary-general. The Rwandan politician said she did not intend to make major changes to the direction of the organization, but she promised more transparency in its spending. Errr, yes....

Some observers have said Canada made a geopolitical calculation in abandoning Jean in favour of the African candidate, hoping it would help its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2020. Mr Socks, however, denied that Canada abandoned Jean in exchange for African or French support for the Security Council bid, saying the government had wanted a second term for Jean.
"But at the same time we recognized — and it’s a question of simple math — that if there’s an African consensus around a particular candidate, we would respect that consensus," said the Canuck PM, who is himself likely to be turfed out in a year's time. "That is simply the way things unfolded." Errr, yes... yes indeed.

Friday, October 12, 2018

VIDEO: The faces of the unhinged mob that is the "Democratic" left

Aren'tcha getting tired of seeing the mob violence on TV -- supporters of a political ideology being attacked, not just verbally but physically, by their opponents for refusing to embrace correct policies and correct thought? Dear readers, we're not talking about fascists stomping communists and Jews. We're talking about the antifa nutjobs assaulting law-abiding citizens, including Congressmen, for such politically incorrect actions as showing supporter for Brett Kavanagh. The Democratic Party has been taken over by hysterical "social democrats", anti-trumpers and other "resisters" who have said, and now shown, that they will stop at nothing to oust the democratically elected President of the United States.

The future promises... or threatens... more of the same. That's the message of a 57-second spot released yesterday by the Republica National Committee. The video features such leading Democrats as Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and "Mad Maxine" Waters (D-CA), former Attorney General Eric Holder, and, of course, Hellery Clinton.

What you saw are scenes of an unhinged mob, incited to violence by the champions of democracy and free speech... as long as you agree with them. If you want to hand the reigns of power to those people, vote Democratic in next month's mid-term elections. If not, don't be intimidated! For sanity, law and order, vote Republican!

Disclaimer from Ed.: Walt has received no financial or other consideration from the Republicans or anyone else for posting this message.

Further reading:
"Rap Sheet: ***594** Acts of Media-Approved Violence and Harassment Against Trump Supporters", Breitbart News, 5/7/18
"A Crush Of New Polls Show Democrats In A Free Fall", by Rod Thomson on Dr Rich Swier's website, 10/10/18.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Why the Dow and S&P keep rising and Canadian markets suck

Canadian readers who play the stock markets are painfully aware that their portfolios of Canuck stocks are not keeping up with inflation, whereas investments in Donald Trump's America keep going up and up. Before the bell this morning, the Dow stood at 26,430.57 while the TSX languished at 15,854.05, in spite of the frenzy for cannabis stocks and the generally good economic numbers coming out of the Great No-longer-white North.

Why is this? George Athanassakos, a professor of finance and the Ben Graham Chair in Value Investing at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, has the answer. He calls it "the Trudeau effect". According to Prof. Athanassakos, statistics measuring employment, production and the like paint a picture of the economy as it is. Today's picture may be rosy enough, he says, but investors are thinking about tomorrow and the next day, trying to predict whether things will get better or worse. And when they look at the policies and actions of Just In Trudeau's Liberal government, they are not encouraged, so they don't pile into an "iffy" market.

The professor's thesis is nicely summed up in "The 'Trudeau Effect' dragging down Canada's stock markets just got much, much worse", published in Canada's Financial Post today. It's so good that I'm going to repost the whole thing, hoping that the Post and the prof won't mind. [We don't make any money from WWW -- not one red cent! Ed.] Here `tis. The emphasis is mine.

A few months ago I wrote in these pages about the “Trudeau effect,” my term for the serious underperformance of the Canadian stock market vis-à-vis the American markets since the election of the federal Liberal government under Justin Trudeau.

The differential market performance has become even more pronounced since I wrote that article, especially in the last three months. Over the last two years, as of the end of September 2018, State Street’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (ticker: SPY), which is designed to track the S&P 500, outperformed its Canadian equivalent, the iShares S&P TSX 60 Index ETF (ticker: XIU) by about 11.5 per cent on an annual basis. But from July to September 2018, we have seen the U.S. market index outperform the Canadian stock index by a whopping 28.8 per cent annualized.

One might ask: Why look at the stock market and not the performance of the economy? Indeed, Canada’s economic performance is one of the best in the G7 while the stock market has been a laggard. So what is a better gauge of successful management of the economy and the country? Should economic performance not be highly correlated with the stock market?”

In reality, the stock market discounts the future not the current economic performance. And Canada’s future looks less than clear under the stewardship of this Liberal government.

Trudeau and his ministers have made it clear they want corporations to become benevolent organizations that put workers before shareholders. They favour taxing corporations and the rich, and adding regulatory impediments and red tape to corporate activity. They are big supporters of income redistribution as opposed to making the pie bigger for everyone. They want to regulate the economy and nudge corporations to submit to the Liberal government’s social views and economic philosophy.

Their policies take away economic entrepreneurship and wealth creation and replace it with handouts to every significant lobby and activist group. The Liberal government increasingly seems not to understand how people get jobs and how they get by, and how heavily favouring environmental issues stirred up by activists over economic concerns takes jobs away.

There’s an old saying that if you’re not a communist at the age of 20 you haven’t got a heart and if you’re still a communist at the age of 40, you haven’t got a brain. Canada today seems to be run by politicians in their 40s behaving like they’re in their 20s. Focusing only on the environment or on social engineering at the expense of working families is elitist. And Canadians are getting the sense that they are governed by a bunch of idealistic and dogmatic college students convinced they will save the world.

The Liberals have crossed swords with powerful countries. They have antagonized the United States, Russia, China, India and Saudi Arabia, just to mention a few. But a small country like Canada has to co-operate with powerful countries, not sit and judge them disapprovingly from some moral high horse. And progress takes time. Improvements to society and the world happen incrementally, not instantaneously.

When a democratically elected majority government ends up following policies driven by activists, it is neglecting its larger mission and mandate and that will eventually hurt the economy. This is what the stock market is anticipating.

Footnote: The photo of Mr Socks making cow eyes at George Soros did not appear in the Post!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Soap opera review: "North of 60"

And now for something completely different... I've been meaning for some time to write about North of 60, a soap opera ["mystery drama series", please. Ed.] about the joys and trials of life in the fictional village of Lynx River, in Canada's Northwest Territories. Agent 3 spent "an eternity" (actually six months) working amongst the native people in that general area and recommended the show, on which I'm now hooked.

Please note that in this post I'll use the abbreviation "FN" to refer to the people Americans and Canadians used to call "Indians", before that term became politically incorrect. "FN" stands for "First Nations" which is what the indigenous people north of the border want to be called, in preference to "Native Canadians" or "aborigines" or anything else. Except of course for the Métis and Inuit, the people formerly known as "Eskimos". [That's enough political correctness. Ed.]

North of 60 originally aired on Canada's state-owned broadcaster, the CBC, from 1992 through 1997. Apart from props like a fax machine, it's still a pretty accurate depiction of an FN settlement in the sub-Arctic northern boreal forest -- north of 60° north latitude, hence the title. The settlement of Lynx River, in an FN reserve (= what Americans call a "reservation") is supposedly in the Dehcho Region of Canada's Northwest Territories. In fact the series was filmed in Bragg Creek AB, west of Calgary.

Lynx River is populated and managed mostly by FNs, with the help of a white manager, one or two white healthcare workers, and a white Mountie who has a FN partner, Michelle Kenidi (played by Tina Keeper), who is the star of the show.

Created by Wayne Grigsby and Barbara Samuels, North of 60 was originally positioned as a light-hearted show, the CBC's answer to Northern Exposure on CBS. Everyone knows Canucks can't do sitcoms [They're great at sketch comedy though. Ed.], so the show quickly became a drama (although it has its funny moments), exploring themes of poverty, alcoholism, cultural preservation, conflict over land settlements, and the exploitation of natural resources. Mixed in with all that are the greed, jealousy, anger, passion and other traits share by human beings of every colour.

In the picture above are some of the main characters -- six FNs, two whities:
Top row: Peter Bockstael as Corporal Brian Fletcher, the white Mountie; Tina Keeper; Tracey Cook as Sarah Birkett, a nurse in the first season, who marries the chief, Albert Golo, with disastrous consequences; Tom Jackson, as Peter Kenidi, Michelle's brother and later band chief.
Bottom row: Gordon Tootoosis, as Albert Golo, the villain of the piece, who makes J.R. Ewing look like a mischievous boy; Jimmy Hermon as Joe Gomba, a wise elder; Dakota House as Trevor 'Tee Vee' Tenia, the obnoxious smart-aleck who matures well; Wilma Pelly as Elsie Tsa Che, Tee Vee's wise and kind grandma.

Other characters included Lubomir Mykytiuk, a Ukrainian-Canadian, as Gerry Kisilenko (restaurant/general store/ motel owner), Simon R. Baker as Charlie Muskrat (young boy experiencing growing pains), and Michael Horse, as Andrew One Sky, an American Indian psychologist and counsellor who eventually gets into a relationship with Michelle Kenidi. Adam Beach and Tantoo Cardinal also appeared, and a large number of FNs round out the cast. Check IMDb for full lists of cast and credits.

Throughout its six-year run, the acting in North of 60 was well above average, and sometimes (Gordon Tootoosis, Tina Keeper and Dakota House) excellent. Almost all of the FNs are credible without playing to stereotypes. And why not? They don't have to act; they're just being themselves! Wilma Pelly quickly became a fan favourite because everyone, not just FNs, has a grandma like that.

The exception, IMHO, is Michael Horse. Perhaps being of mixed ancestry -- he's of Yaqui-Apache-Swedish-Hispanic descent -- explains it. He comes across as the "noble savage", not just smarter and better-educated than the others but better-looking too... and knows it. Really he just warmed up his character from The Legend of the Lone Ranger.

Other actors who fell short of the mark -- IMHO again -- Tracey Cook and Lubomir Mykytiuk. Like Mr Horse, Ms Cook is too good to be true. Or maybe I should say the role is improbable at best. What would a blonde, blue-eyed ice queen be doing up there in the back of beyond, in a place where she had to build her own house out of canvas, brush and logs? Just not believable. As for Mr Mykytiuk, his English is just too perfect. Not one "Yak she mash!" But that's just MHO... again.

In spite of a few flaws in the characterization and acting, it's possible for even a non-Northerner to relate to all the characters. Agent 3 says North of 60 looks, sounds and feels "pretty authentic". Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's a thriller, and sometimes it's a whodunnit. But always it shows real people with real problems and real emotions, struggling to get on with life in hard circumstances. I give it ***** (five stars).

North of 60 is still on TV, airing every day on Canada's APTN (Aboriginal People's Television Network). You can also find bits and pieces by searching YouTube, although watching isolated episodes is not as good as binge-watching a whole bunch, in order, because, hey, it's a soap opera! You might also try Showcase or other streaming services.

Tina Keeper
served one term as Member of Parliament for the riding of Churchill -- the land where the polar bears roam. She was elected in 2006 as the Liberal Party candidate, and served as the Official Opposition's Critic for Public Health and Canadian Heritage and as Special Advisor for Aboriginal Outreach. She was defeated in the 2008 general election.
Gordon Tootoosis was made a Member of the Order of Canada on 29 October 29 2004. His citation recognizes him as an inspirational role model for Aboriginal youth. It notes that as a veteran actor, he portrayed memorable characters in movie and television productions in Canada and the United States. He died on 5 July 2011.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

VIDEO: Bernier's People's Party of Canada 2019 campaign ad

As reported here on September 14th, Canadian Member of Parliament and disaffected Conservative Maxime Bernier, has formed his own party, the Parti Populaire du Canada / People's Party of Canada, and hopes to field candidates for the federal election (due in a year) in all 338 ridings. Being a good Boy Scout [Do they still exist? Ed.], Mad Max has already commissioned a series of TV ads for the campaign. Here's the first of them.

Dear reader... what you just watched was a SATIRE, done by the inimitable Jill Colton. But like all good satire, it is based on the truth. At least two of Walt's agents have already joined the PPC. If you're a Canadian and you like Max's ideas (and reject the Trudeau's Liberals and Scheer's alt-Liberals), go and do ye likewise!

UPDATED: VIDEO: Government-sponsored refugees trash Toronto hotel

This is an update to "Ungrateful 'refugees' destroy Canadian hotels", posted here on August 3rd. The video included with that one was produced by The Rebel media, and revealed the shocking way in which Syrian "refugees", brought to Canada by the Liberal government, trashed hotels in which they were put up, at Canuck taxpayers' expense.

Trouble with that video was that it had evidence, in the form of letters from hotel managers, but not much by way of actual photos or videos. In September, a trio of residents of Scarborough ON (aka Scarberia, the easterly part of Toronto) decided to go and have a look for themselves, to see if the troubles with the third-worlders had perhaps been exaggerated. Here's what they saw at the Radisson Hotel in Scarborough.

Some of the "refugees" sent to Toronto had been put up in dorms at some of Toronto's universities and colleges, but had to move out by August 9th, so the premises could be cleaned up -- no small task -- so as to be ready for students arriving to begin the new term. So the progressive Muslim-lovers running the country (and the city of Toront) pressured more hotels into taking more of the wretched refuse who Prime Minister Trudeau promised to welcome in his "tweet heard round the third world" following the election of President Trump.

The hotels were told they would be stuck with the dirty migrants for only one month, or two months max, as "permanent accommodation" would surely be found by the end of September. ("Permanent accommodation" for people whose right to remain in Canada has yet to be determined. How strange is that?!) Well, the end of September came a week ago, and the hotels were told that, errr, the unwelcome guests would have to stay another month, or two months max, because... well, you get the idea.

But don't worry, the hoteliers were told, all expenses will be covered by the government. Whether that includes the expense of cleaning, disinfecting and fumigating remains to be seen. Also to be determined is the question of compensation for the millions of dollars in business being lost when people check TripAdvisor and heed the warning to avoid the hotels which have been turned into hostels, with all that term implies.

UPDATED 12/10/18: CBC News reports that the Radisson Hotel at 55 Hallcrown Place, in the 401 and Victoria Park area of Scarberia (NE Toronto) was targeted in an arson attack on October 2nd. The hotel is "home" to 577 "refugees", none of whom was hurt or forced to leave by the small fire in a corridor, which was quickly put out. One "refugee" from Sudan said she believed the hotel was targeted because of the refugees staying there. "I know there are some small groups...," she said, "[who] are saying, 'They are taking our money, they are taking our taxes', just to give them a better life.'" Wonder if TripAdvisor or Trivago know about this.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Senate confirms Kavanaugh, another win for POTUS!

By a 50-48 margin, the United States Senate has voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Further comment will follow, but you know already know what I'm going to say... right?

Worth watching: "How the left lost the Kavanaugh fight", Tucker Carlson on Fox News, 5/10/18. "Activists no longer try to convince anyone of anything. They just scream and bully."

Thursday, October 4, 2018

VIDEOS: Trump emphasizes weakness of Ford's testimony. FBI report to find "no corroboration". Walt predicts Kavanagh confirmation

Triple headline today because I want to tie everything together so the inevitability of the confirmation of Brett Kavanagh as the next Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States will be apparent.

Let's start with President Trump's speech Tuesday night at a rally in Southaven MS. In the style of a trial lawyer addressing a jury, Mr Trump summarized the key questions and answers in the sworn testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, line by line, to show the total inadequacy of her recollection of the alleged assault for which Judge Kavanagh is being pilloried by the anti-Trumpers (whose real agenda is protecting Roe v. Wade and "abortion rights"). In case you missed it, here's the clip they're all talking about.

For speaking plainly and forcefully about the gaping holes in Ms Ford's story, POTUS is being criticized for being insensitive, callous, misogynist, yada yada yada. A Republican senator called his remarks "just plain wrong", without specifying (because she couldn't) what was wrong with what he said. Here's the response from the President's Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This morning it appears that President Trump was not wrong to suggest that the whole Ford assault affair, the whole he-said-she-said circus is nothing more than a Democratic Party tactic to delay the confirmation of Judge Kavanagh, and, in spite of all the sturm und drang, a dog that won't hunt.

The New York Times claims to have spoken late last night with an unnamed official (surprised?) who was briefed on the FBI's investigation into the allegations of Ms Ford (and two others), who told them that the report, now in the hands of the White House, found no corroboration of the sexual assault allegations.

The unnamed official said the FBI contacted ten people but interviewed nine in total, and that the White House concluded that the interviews didn't support the allegations. The Wall Street Journal, citing people who it said were "familiar with the matter" also reported that the White House found no corroboration.

Seems to me that should be about the end of it, even for the Republican ladies and Senator Flakey. Ms Ford has had her 15 minutes of fame. The Democrats got their investigation, and it came up with nothing. Nada. Zip. It will be hard, now, for the doubters to vote against confirmation, which could come as soon as the day after tomorrow. Lifetime pct .988.

Further viewing: Down in The Remnant Underground, Michael Matt has a wholly different take on the Kavanaugh nomination hearings. What he calls the "witch hunt" is all about one thing: liberal America's commitment to human sacrifice and moral chaos. Watch and think!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Right-wing party ousts Liberals in Québec

Walt here, back home after five days touring (not tearing) through les Cantons de l'Est du Québec. It's good to be back in a place where I don't have to think before I speak [or write! Ed.]. How I envy people like my guide, Poor Len Canayen, who can switch effortlessly from French to English and back again.

Another person who can do that is Chantal Hébert, a columnist for the Toronto Red Star and regular guest on the "At Issue" segment of CBC's The National. Around the middle of September, in the middle of the Québec provincial election campaign, Mme Hébert told Agent 3 that immigration to la Belle Province and the resultant anti-immigrant backlash was a non-issue in this election. She called it "the dog that didn't bark."

The issue was raised by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) led by millionaire businessman François Legault, who promised that his party would cut the number of immigrants coming into the province from 50,000 to 40,000 per year. And it would force them to take an assessment of their knowledge of the French language and of Québec values within three years in order to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate, which they need in order to get permanent residency from the federal government.

Those vows brought M Legault into conflict other provincial party leaders. The Liberals predictably accused him of not respecting diversity and stirring up divisions. The Parti Québécois accused him of not going far enough.

The lamestream media dismissed the idea of a values and language test as a warmed-up version of the proposed Charter of Québec Values which (they told us) cost the Parti Québécois the provincial election of 2014, won by the moderately progressive Liberals. There's no anti-immigrant sentiment in Québec, they told us. Québécois are just as tolerant as other Canadians, who, as is well known, love immigrants, espeically the bogus "refugees" and asylum-seekers who are crossing the border between Vermont and Québec illegally, at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, at the rate of over 1000 per month, assisted by the Mounties who carry their bags and direct them to the welfare office. It was to that part of Québec -- the Eastern Townships -- that we went to gauge the sentiment of real habitants, not the chattering classes of Montréal.

In our travels through the ridings (electoral districts, for our American readers) of Brome-Mississquoi, Orford, Sherbrooke, Granby, Saint-François and Mégantic, we saw lots of signs and posters for the CAQ, some for the other parties (notably Québec Solidaire in Sherbrooke) and very few for the Liberals. The people we talked to -- no taxi drivers or media types! -- were surprisingly unemotional, but pretty sure that change was coming, in the form of a CAQ government.

Why? Not because of the economy, which several told us was doing well enough, under the Liberals, but because of "the values thing". No-one actually said "Québec aux Québécois!", but that was the underlying sentiment, as I read it. That part of Québec, sometimes called l'Estrie, went solidly Liberal in 2014. It contains the largest percentage of anglophones (English speakers) outside of Montréal's west island, but even they seemed in the mood for change, so much so that we couldn't even start an argument, let alone get some bets down!

So... it came as no surprise to Poor Len and yr obdt servant that the CAQ swept l'Estrie and virtually all of Québec, apart from the aforesaid west island. There are 125 seats in the Québec Assemblée Nationale. Final count (as of this writing, subject to a couple of recounts): CAQ 74 (a comfortable majority); Liberals 32; Québec Solidaire 10; Parti Québécois (the former separatists) 9. Turns out the dog that didn't bark chose to bite instead!

As with the American election of 2016 and the Ontario election of this past June, the pollsters and meeja pundits got it WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! They were so sure, right through mid-day yesterday, that the "divisive" CAQ, led by a millionaire businessman (cf. Donald Trump and Doug Ford) couldn't win, that their wildest prediction was that the Liberals might be reduced to a minority government.

The looks on the "experts"' faces reminded me of nothing so much as the long pusses displayed by Joy Behar and all the rest on American TV on The Night of the Trump. I hope someone is putting together a highlight reel showing the moment when the CBC realized the CAQ was going to win. It was at 8:19 PM EDT -- 19 minutes after the polls closed. Just In Trudeau and federal Liberals take note -- YOU'RE NEXT!

Monday, October 1, 2018

The case of the disappearing library books

Ed. here. Walt returned early this morning from a tear through les Cantons de l'Est du Québec in the company... dangerous company... of Poor Len Canayen. He dropped on my desk a sheaf of scribbled notes which is going to take me some time to decipher. While you wait, here's something to think about....

Have you visited your local public library lately? If so, did you find any new books to read? I know new books are being written, for I see reviews in any number of publications, excluding the New York Times Review of Books, which I never read. And one could, if one were rich, buy them online. (Finding a bricks-and-mortar book store would be more difficult.) But the selection of new books in our public libraries becomes smaller by the week. I asked a librarian last week, "Have you stopped buying books?" Her dismaying reply was "No. It just looks like it."

At the library to which I refer (not "reference"!), the space formerly given to displays of new books has been turned over to displays of low-brow fiction, e.g. the latest works of Danielle Steele, and of new CDs and DVDs. Books, particularly non-fiction, seem to be on the way out. Print isn't dead. It's just not being made as readily available to the public.

I thought at first this saddening phenomenon might be peculiar to out-of-the-way places like Fort Mudge, but complaints are emanating from other, larger burgs. A WWW reader from Idaho sent us the Letters page of the Wall Street Journal of 7/9/18, with a letter from Nicholas A. Vlisides, of Northville MI, highlighted. Mr Vlisides writes:

As a full-time lecturere at a local university in Michigan, I can confirm Danny Heitman's lament on the elimination of books in libraries ("Don't Close the Book on Books", op-ed, Aug. 30). Last year, to my surprise and dismay, I entered our library in search of texts on economics and found half the shelves empty. When I asked what had happened, the librarian told me that the facility was undertaking a program to eliminate all the books that had not been "checked out" in a long time. Books written by Galbraith, Friedman and Sanuelson were missing. Further, I was told that the same procedure was being undertaken for literature, music, science, philosophy and more. I was keenly saddened and voiced my opinion that books need not be sacrificed for technology, but it was too late.

The elimination of books for internet research is a Faustian bargein and I am sorry for those who may never know the pleasure in the discovery of a book not cited by an internet source. I'm reminded of a Mark Twain quote: "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." Internet literacy isn't a substitute for book knowledge, and our society is the poorer for it.

Well said, sir! I trust you have made your opinion known to your local library board, and encourage Walt's readers to do the same.

Footnote: I hope readers will appreciate my self-restraint in not making a pun involving a two-syllable word for a piece of furniture in which books are kept.