Monday, December 28, 2015

Flag of convenience

Tell me again, why are we importing more people from this part of the world? Is there a shortage of crap in Canada?
A Canadian journalist who was released from prison in Egypt this fall said Monday he has asked authorities in that country to restore the citizenship he renounced in hopes of regaining his freedom.

Mohamed Fahmy said he initially refused to give up his Egyptian citizenship when it was suggested to him as a way of speeding up his release.

But he eventually relented late last year after receiving reassurance that he could reapply for it at a later date, he said.

Even so, it took almost a year — and a presidential pardon — before he was freed.

Fahmy, who now lives in Vancouver, said he is seeking to recover his dual citizenship as a “matter of principle.”

“I kind of feel that it was unnecessary for me to renounce my citizenship to get out of prison,” he said. “I’ve spoken to Egyptian officials and my lawyers have and we don’t have a clear answer on why this happened.”

“So now I would like to claim it back,” he said.
This is why nobody wants these lice in this country, despite the CBC's relentless boosterism of the grand arrival of Syrian "refugees". They're liars and ungrateful shits. Canada expended a huge amount of energy and prestige lobbying for Fahmy's release, and this is how he repays us.

If you look down the page of the story you'll see other stories about him, including his snarling attack on the Canadian Prime Minister who got his worthless hide out of the Egyptian jail he'd landed himself in (and should still be occupying, for all I care).

For all the moaning that he was a "Canadian" journalist, he got himself in trouble in Egypt shilling for Al-Jazeera, not the CBC. And now we see just how "Canadian" he actually is. Like so many of the expatriates from that part of the world, Canada is just a convenient bolt-hole for when the heat is on.

I think Foreign Affairs should start experimenting with a new kind of passport for these Canadians-of-convenience: maybe one that can be rented by the month.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The MacGuffinization of the Catholic Church

Dale Price recently commented on the spreading tendency in the Church to over-personalize the leaders and players:
One of the many diseases of the modern Church is hero-worship, the seeking after a man on horseback to solve problems.

The cult of personality invariably follows.

Two years ago, I bookmarked this piece from Ace of Spades. It seemed like such a perfect description of the way politics had completely detached from reality in the U.S. Now I find that it also describes the current state of the Catholic Church.

In a movie or book, "The MacGuffin" is the thing the hero wants.

Usually the villain wants it too, and their conflict over who will end up with The MacGuffin forms the basic spine of the story.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the MacGuffin is, of course, the Lost Ark. Indy wants it; the Nazis have it. This basic conflict over simple possession animates a two hour long movie.

Alfred Hitchcock noted -- counterintuitively, when you first hear this -- that the specifics of the MacGuffin don't really matter at all to a movie. He pointed out that the audience doesn't care at all about the MacGuffin. The hero in the movie itself cares, but the audience doesn't...

No audience member really cared if the Nazis wound up with the Ark of the Covenant... But we cared about Indy. He was a character we liked, a character that sparked our imaginations; whether he was looting a South American burial mound (illegally, by the way!) or blowing off his students by sneaking out a back window during office hours (poor work ethic, incidentally), we rooted for him to win.

Ace goes on to observe how unimportant actual issues and policies are in the Age of Obama. Similarly, the issues that concern conservative Catholics are of almost no interest to the supporters of Team Francis: their purpose is to serve as Obstacles to be overcome on the Hero's Journey.

Conservatives are sincerely upset by the idea of unrepentant, unreconciled sinners taking communion. They discuss it with all the anxiety and dread of Kimberley Wells describing a leak at a nuclear power station. The other side can't even acknowledge that any reason for anxiety exists. It's hand-waved away, with the airy dismissal that all this is "perfectly orthodox", whether it's bizarre statements that atheists can go to Heaven, or pagan lightshows projected on the Vatican. The goal is to get these irrelevant details out of the way so they can launch into a round of cursing the "Francis-haters". When Francis remarks "A little bread and wine do no harm" conservatives gasp and shut their eyes in horror. But Francis-fans chortle at the satisfying "zinger". Is this a serious matter? Who cares? Their guy has scored a point! Francis 1, Bad Guys 0! Hurrah!

Just as the issues function as the cave trolls and collapsing staircases that the Hero must overcome, so do conservatives occupy the role of the Villain. Our role is simply to be against the Hero. Oh, they might spend a few seconds on a little cod-psychology for us, just to flesh out our character to make the contest more fun. The Norman Mailer of the Catechism Set, Mark Shea at Little Green Catholics, is forever sneering that his enemies aren't manly or courageous like him. And that a gun is really a penis. But really we don’t need any deeper motivation than that we’re against the Hero.

Just like Barack Obama, the current pope has his team of fans, supporting him against the opposite "side", just like in politics or team sports. The issues have been entirely swallowed by the personalities, to the point where they simply provide a pretext for waving the flag and hooting down the despicable bad guys.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fraying

From this:



to this:
He was cheerful and happier than I,
for when on Spanish domes the arabesque
loosened and fell, he never questioned why,
or why people grew flabby and grotesque,
and did not sense the fabric's fading dye
or in his own tunic the broken thread,
the fountains of the city running dry,
he did not taste the filth inside his bread
or see the boys who knew his poems die
or view the burning library with dread.
Brave and clever, he failed to note the fact
that faith's no help, nor wit, courage, nor dagger,
that no philosophy will resurrect
a culture: collapsing is forever.

Friday, December 18, 2015

This guy said...

Dear Ezra Levant must be the most energetic guy in the world. He's properly outraged by the imbecility of the NDP government of Alberta, and had a petition to protest one of their idiotic plans to destroy the energy industry in that province. The call was to save the energy sector in Alberta.

I just can't find it in myself to care enough to try to "save" the Albertans. They voted for these morons. They deliberately CHOSE this socialist stupidity, and grabbed it with both hands. Such people don't deserve to be "saved", they deserve everything they get.

Socialism has been stinking up the world for a hundred years now; it's not some fresh new theory that's caught fire and is being launched by enthusiastic tyros with starry dreams of success. It's old, it's busted. We know it's pure failure. It doesn't succeed, it can't succeed, and it will never succeed anywhere. There's NO EXCUSE for anyone to "give it a chance" anywhere. And yet they do.

It reminds me of the old SCTV episode where Luciano Pavarotti is explaining his new diet to Sammy Maudlin.
(Luciano Pavarotti hauls out a gigantic 10-lb provolone with a knife stuck in it and starts whittling off slices and eating them)
SM: Whatcha got there?
LP: Oh, it'sa provolone. It'sa part of my diet.
SM: Yeah?
LP: Yeah, I gotta eat 4 of these whole things every day.
SM: No kidding? That's all, eh?
LP: No, no, I can eat everything else. But this guy, friend of mine said "Eat 4 of these, and eat all you want, and you'll lose weight."
SM: Wow! Heheh, that looks REAL good! Mind if I have a little bit?
LP: No. I'm sorry, this is part of the diet, I can't share it.
This is how I feel about these retreads of socialism. And Pope Shitty's Sock-it-to-me Minstrel Show in the Vatican, too. Nobody's got the faintest hope of any real argument in favour of this crap. The only basis for it is "Well, this guy said..." followed by something that couldn't convince a moron in a hurry, but they're committed to it, come hell or high water.

Very good news!

I posted this on Facebook, but it deserves to be here too. As some may know, we've been having very serious difficulties with our youngest, James, over the past 2 years. He'd become very violent and aggressive, and was actually beating us - to the point where we had to call 911 back in February. James spent 3 months in the psychiatric wing of the Ottawa General after that, and the experts there finally were able to come up with a medication regimen that helped to keep him more stable. It wasn't ideal, but at least the violence dropped off.

We'd also got some extended respite for him starting in September, at a residence he quite enjoys, and where his behaviours are much more under control. I think it's just a better environment for him, more stimulation because he's surrounded by more people, and he gets more exercise and interaction with the people there.

Anyway, on Wednesday Dean went to DSO for the usual quarterly meeting. We expected it would be the usual "nothing has changed" report, but I hoped that MAYBE we could get an extension of the generous respite we'd been enjoying. It was due to run out at the end of March, and I was deathly afraid that after that it would be just back to the way things were earlier this year.

But unbelievably, they told Dean that James had been approved for a permanent residence placement! And better yet, at the very same house where he's currently staying for respite!! We're so happy, I've hardly been able to sleep since! It will be SO much better for all of us - James included. It's a much healthier, more active and interesting life for him, being away in a new home, and I'm thinking that we may actually be able to have a life now too! Maybe we can go for a holiday this year.

The original plan was for James to move in by the end of March, but the residence suggested moving it up to the beginning of January. He doesn't really need extra time for the usual "transition" process, because he's already familiar with the house and he's had experience living away from home. Plus, it occurred to me later that 3 months is a long time to try to keep this secret from James. He's very astute, and can immediately tell when people's behavior changes. He asks pointed questions, and watches closely as we respond, and if we look away or try to evade the question, he knows something's up. I'm nervous that someone will let something slip, and then he could end up spending that extra time building opposition. Better to do it sooner, and we can worry about transferring more of his stuff over there to make it more homey later on.

Anyway, that ALSO has been keeping me preoccupied this week!

She wanted a pink one

I've been busy this week, building a new computer for Emma. As the title reveals, she wanted a PINK computer to replace her old iMac.

I'm a bit disappointed in the iMac: I thought Apple computers would continue to be upgradeable and compatible with newer programs pretty much indefinitely, but that wasn't the case. The machine is about 5 years old now, and is running OS X, which was superseded shortly after we bought the computer. It worked fine for the next 4 years, but recently Emma found she couldn't upload the latest version of iTunes on it - it was too out of date. That's a big problem for her, because she's got a big collection of music and videos from iTunes.

Was it worth buying a new operating system? The hardware was starting to show its age too: she'd damaged one of the header pins for the earphone jack, so couldn't listen to music on it anymore. And a new iMac is running about $1400 or higher. So since she wanted a more personalized look to her computer, I said I'd build her one. Of course, this means going back to a Windows operating system (I don't think she'd want to learn Linux) but that's what's on our other computers, so she'd have no trouble getting used to it again. Except that she wanted Windows 10, not 7, as I have on all the other computers. I said Fine, but she'd have to learn the details herself, as I wasn't used to that version.

Anyway, the whole build went really well. Here's what we put into it:

Pink Apevia case
Thermaltek 650 power source
ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer motherboard
Intel Core i3 with onboard video
G-Skill Aegis 16GB RAM
1TB WD hard drive
LG cd/dvd drive, LG bluray drive

She wanted 2 monitors, and Newegg was having a sale, so I got 2 21" Sceptre HDMI monitors. Only 1 can connect to the computer with an HDMI cable, the other will use a normal VGA cable. Also a pair of "pebble" speakers, which connect via USB, and as we have a lot of USB ports, that's quite convenient.

Here are the photos:


It took us several days, but we also managed to migrate all her music, video and picture files from the iMac to the Windows computer. I was very proud of that; it took some research on the internet, but we connected the two computers with a LAN cable and got them to recognize each other, and it went well. Although we had to take it a bit slowly; they couldn't seem to handle large folders with many files, so some TV shows with multiple episodes ended up being done one episode at a time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Why is Trump popular?

Comment from novanglus at the Belmont Club:
To anyone on the left or the right wringing their hands about the possibility of a Trump victory, I say you have no one to blame but yourselves. You lefties have gone too far with your fundamental transformations. You righties have failed to heed the call from your electorate to stand tall against those fundamental transformations.

What choice have you left us, but to invoke shenanigans? We will elect a man ill suited temperamentally for the office, because no one can buy him and shut him up. We know continuing on the path we are on is the road to ruin, so why not take this detour and see where it leads us. Perhaps it will slap some sense into those who view themselves as the ruling class and remind them that they serve at OUR pleasure.

Back an angry animal into a corner and you get a face full of crazy. Get ready for it. I'm just waiting for Trump to say, "I'm comin'. And Hell's comin' with me. You hear?"

The Church of the Nation

C.S. Lewis once wrote an essay called "On the Reading of Old Books" which contains this insight:
All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook--even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it. Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united--united with each other and against earlier and later ages--by a great mass of common assumptions. We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century--the blindness about which posterity will ask, "But how could they have thought that?"--lies where we have never suspected it, and concerns something about which there is untroubled agreement between Hitler and President Roosevelt or between Mr. H.G. Wells and Karl Barth.
I don't know what posterity will say, but I'm detecting some common assumptions these days, that seem to unite disparate minds with as little notice as the water in which different fish swim.

Now the great Wretchard at the Belmont Club has joined the crowd criticizing Donald Trump for his call to halt all Muslim immigration or entry to the country for the time being.
Donald Trumps proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US is, as Senator Ted Cruz points out, manifestly wrong but also emotionally resonant. Amy Davidson of the New Yorker came face to face with this contradiction after noting the approving crowds which cheered Trump's plans in South Carolina on Monday night. How can a wrong idea be resonant?
The "tell" for me was the expression "manifestly wrong". To me, it comes from the same shop as "Everyone knows..." In other words, an assumption so basic, so universally accepted, that one doesn't even have to mount an argument for it. Just as "everyone knows" that Republicans are bigots, or that global warming has been proved, so "everyone knows" that Trump is wrong.

And yet, to read the comments that followed Wretchard's essay, it is NOT so obvious to everyone that Trump is wrong. People patiently relate the appropriate passages from 8 U.S. Code § 1182 and give examples from the past, as well as arguments from morality and cost-benefit analyses. The overwhelming majority of Wretchard's faithful readers conclude that HE is the one who is manifestly wrong, not Trump.

I'm finding the same thing all over the place. Dale Price is one of my go-to guys for straightforward conservative thinking, but he too calls Trump's idea "a garbage policy from a garbage human being, unworthy of consideration."

So what's going on here? I think maybe I'm detecting one "common assumption" tying these ideas together with similar arguments on the Left. And that's the idea of the Church of the Nation.

The emotional reaction is what I would expect from a 16th century Spaniard suddenly threatened with excommunication. It's appalling, unthinkable! The Nation has taken the place of the Church, and alienation from it is the worst fate possible. As the Catholic would see himself facing exile from Paradise, so the citizen sees himself rejected and outcast from the source of all benefits, including identity.

This also explains the furious rejection of the possibility of stripping criminals of their citizenship: it can't be done! You can't take away a person's citizenship! But why? I've long been in favour of the old tradition of banishment for some criminals, especially hostile aliens like Muslims. We Canadians even did it ourselves, a little over 40 years ago, when the FLQ terrorists who kidnapped a British diplomat were exiled to Cuba. But modern devotees of the Church of the Nation feel that to have no state is worse than a death sentence today. The modern idea of a passport as a sort of untouchable badge of belonging is quite recent, dating not much further back than the bureaucratic 20th century, and yet it now totally dominates modern thinking.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Don't you be judgin' me!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Motive "unclear"

So, here we are, now 4 days out from the San Bernardino massacre, and the press and politicians are still insisting that the motive remains a mystery.

It's getting harder to maintain the ingénue act, but they're trying hard. President Idiot was trying on the "workplace violence" tapdance Thursday, and even now is lamely sputtering that it's all just so complicated, and we simply don't know and have to wait and wait and wait some more until all the facts are known. Which means ALL the facts; i.e., as long as there's one tiny undiscovered nano-second of these people's lives, we just won't be able to say for sure why they massacred unarmed non-Muslims at a staff Christmas party.

Soon after 9/11, I read a piece by someone on this same cultivated air of bafflement that was fashionable on the part of the anti-Western fifth column. He wrote that it was as if an anthropologist were to describe a middle class dining room, where people would sit around a table, place hot items on plates before them, then cut the items into small pieces and carefully place the pieces in their mouths. "Why are they doing this?" asks the bewildered anthropologist. "What are they trying to tell us?" In the same way, it seems there's nothing Muslim terrorists can say or do, no matter how plainly obvious and unconcealed, that will succeed in getting through the permafrost of confusion in the minds of bien-pensant media figures.

They say they want to kill people; they describe how they're going to kill people; they say their god likes it when they kill people; they kill people; they boast of killing people. Yet still, the media shake their heads and pretend that there was some static on the line and they couldn't quite catch the message. I don't know if terrorists despise us for being too stupid to understand the truth or too cowardly to admit it, but it's no wonder they can't respect us if THIS is the public face of the West.

I posted this at the end of a thread on the Belmont Club:

This wasn't a case of a guy getting into a fight at a party, going outside to his car and getting the gun out of the glove compartment, then marching back inside to settle the score with gunfire. Those two slimeheads were planning a massacre.

Was it THIS particular event - the Christmas party - they were aiming for? Don't know. But that uncertainty can't be spread out to say "the motive is unclear". They wanted to commit murder for Allah - that's all that matters.

To me, this makes it worse, to think that they'd been treasuring up this secret for possibly months. Maybe they were hunting for the "right" moment to unleash the mayhem. Maybe every day they went to work, they were on the alert for the pretext that would be the "go" signal. Every person who rode the elevator with them, greeted them at work, passed them in the hall, COULD have had his or her life violently ended without warning. Everyone who lived might owe his life to some unknown chance - "Today? No, not enough people around." "How about now? No, that dirty Jew 2 doors down is on holiday; have to wait until HE's there." "What about today? No, everyone's paying attention to the murder is Paris, there won't be enough press coverage." Etc

Friday, December 04, 2015

San Bernardino through a Vaseline-smeared lens

This was how CBC radio described the San Bernardino slaughter: "Two heavily armed persons opened fire at a holiday party."

Good work, guys. Certainly no chance of any uncomfortable thoughts arising from THAT careful choice of words. And I heard this this morning, while driving. It's now 3 days since the massacre, and the facts are public beyond hope. It was two MUSLIM savages who opened fire on unarmed people at a CHRISTMAS party. Yet still the CBC feels it necessary to try to short-circuit our reasoning with this coy sort of vagueness.

Their video of the mandatory weepy candlelight vigil was equally dishonest. They must have scrutinized every square inch of the stadium to locate 3 women wearing headscarves, and interview them for their sensitive, loving outreach to the community. By the way, what kind of idiot was leading that soppy singalong? Calling for "increased faith in our leaders"? As the murders get closer and more frequent and "our leaders" speed up the import of more Muslim timebombs, I think LESS faith is the only thing that will keep us alive.

Frankly, I'm no longer even bothering to learn the details about these sorts of incidents anymore. What's the point? Just tell me the names of the killers, and you've told me all I need to know. Everything else is going to be a pack of lies anyway. It's like the press has determined to smother us all in a steady downpour of feathers. No matter how stonkingly obvious the truth, they think that they can blur it with soft, soothing words, and we too will become so muffled in their soft, white blanket of lies that no sudden movement or even thought will be able to break through to disturb the smooth peaceful surface.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Our rotting education system

This is what passes for education in Ottawa's "Catholic" schools:
An Ottawa couple has pulled their daughter out of a Catholic school, claiming the teacher made anti-American remarks. The 13-year-old girl has dual citizenship; she's part American and says the comments offended her and tonight the board issued an apology to the family.

The comments came during a discussion around terrorism, after the attacks in Paris and a comparison, the girl says that the teacher made between those attacks and the nuclear bomb the U.S. dropped on Japan, saying the Americans were the real terrorists.

She said because they are the only country to have used nuclear weapons, that the Americans are the real terrorists.’

Addison's father is Canadian and her mother, American; Addison and her little brother have dual citizenship.

‘I raised my hand to tell her I’m American,’ says Addison, ‘in the hopes that she would stop talking about that because I started feeling a little bit offended.’

Addison says her teacher replied ‘Do you want a prize or something?’
When the girl's parents protested to the school board, they got the "Don't let the door hit you on the ass" treatment, then followed it up with come good, solid lies:
The Ottawa Catholic School Board strives to ensure a safe, caring and inclusive environment in all our schools. One of our students has indicated that this was not her experience, and for that I am truly sorry.

As a Catholic school system we have a strong commitment to make sure our school communities are places where everyone feels welcome. Through the efforts of the school’s administration and the superintendent, we have reached out to the parents of this student, and we are disappointed that we have not been able to resolve it to their satisfaction. We do not want even one family to leave without the situation being resolved satisfactorily. So, although the parents have made a decision that they believe is in the best interests of their child, we continue to value and encourage a strong relationship between home and school. We will continue to work to prevent such a situation occurring in the future.’
Now, what do you suppose would have been the reaction if instead of ventilating her own personal political biases to a captive audience, the teacher had seen fit to recite the actual teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality or adultery? Well, actually, we don't have to suppose, because we can see by checking what happened last year, when a Catholic school collided with homo-propaganda:
In a statement released late Monday, school board spokeswoman Mardi de Kemp said the girls will now be allowed to do “project on how the topic of gay rights is addressed by a Catholic high school’s equity club. The girls will be welcome to present their project at the social justice fair.”

In late November, students Quinn Maloney-Tavares and Polly Hamilton planned to examine gay rights in a project for a Social Justice Fair in January that would be seen by students in Grades 4 to 6. But St. George principal Ann Beauchamp vetoed the project...

The reversal of the ban follows considerable internal examination on the part of board officials.

At one point board chairman Ted Hurley acknowledged that he had reviewed the matter “in the full context of promoting fairness, bullying prevention and Catholic teaching with regard to gay rights.

“The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has made it clear that our attitudes to gay and lesbian people should be addressed with love and dignity in an open and transparent way, when he said, ‘Who am I to judge?’
So, then: snot-nosed brats coached by homosexual activist raise a stink: collapse faster than a wet condom.

American girl exposed to teacher's insults and sneers, then harassed by equally (if possible) ignorant fellow students: stony-faced standing on principle, complete with insincere lies about inclusion and safety.

Two stories in one month, showing that the education system in Ontario is honeycombed with rot from top to bottom.

We got trouble in River City

Got my snow tires put on today, and just in time, because the Weather Network is predicting freezing rain for this afternoon. This is also the day James comes back from respite, so I don't want to be sliding around on the ice with him freaking out in the back seat. I haven't seen any salt trucks out on the roads yet, though, which worries me a bit. Keeping the roads safe in the winter is the ONE thing the Ottawa city government should consider a mandatory obligation, but so often they skimp and take chances and try to cheap their way through, just hoping that their luck will hold if they do the bare minimum.

While sitting in the waiting lounge, I had to listen to the CBC TV newschannel. I SO do not miss having TV at home! Except for the weather report, it seems there are only 2 events happening in the whole world: 1) the climate change conference in Paris. There were endless repeats of Obama's speech this morning (which I managed to evade, by dint of hard concentration on my Kindle). I notice that the press is slipping back into referring to this boondoggle as "global warming", even though that's been thoroughly debunked over the past few years. They must be feeling especially strong right now; they're getting sloppy with their lies. They don't care, they think they're winning.

The other "big" story was the "Syrian" "refugees" coming to Canada. This was reported as if the whole country is bouncing with excitement over the event, when really practically nobody wants them here and or cares about them. But we saw lots of heart-warming stories about the preparations being made and the grand welcome planned by the few gullible idiots who can be got to go on TV and gush about this oncoming plague of locusts.

Ever since the Paris attacks, the press has been going full-bore on the Muslim love and insisting upon attributing it to everyone in the West. For 2 solid days the headline on Yahoo was the sappy story about the French father telling his little boy that the bad guys have guns "But we have flowers." The only place you hear contrary opinions is on the Internet, and I think that contrary opinion is shared by a big majority of the population. We've actually arrived at a Soviet level of press propaganda, where everyone knows that what is being printed and broadcast is complete fiction. Instead of truthfully stating that this "refugee" invasion is being rammed down our throats by a dilettante prime minister and his know-it-all leftists buddies, we're being told that this is as exciting as the arrival of Santa Claus. Instead of the truth, we get this: