Friday, 25 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
At a Washington Independent story faulting the FBI's supposedly discriminatory stance toward Muslims:
"...the case stoked apprehensions that the government sees Arab-Americans and Muslims as a people apart." Cf. the BIble, Gen 12:16: " ...thou shalt call his name Ishmael... And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him..." The inescapable fact remains that the Western democracies, with their presumption of legal sovereignty over sectarian interests, were never designed with the sons of Ishmael in mind. As for "developing with consistency" the "crucial relationship" with Muslims, is not this institutional deference the very stance that fostered the Fort Hood disaster?
At a Macleans article on the recent VSO- VANOC controversy:
"The visible part of the job is something a ten-year-old could do..." Right! And when the kid is finished "doing" Mahler's 9th she can take over for Colby Cash at the word processor. Certainly anyone can beat time to pop songs, but just try letting an orchestra attempt to perform any standard work of "classical" proportions without the firm hand of a trained conductor on deck and watch what happens: bloody chaos. Mr. Cash should confine his aesthetic apercus to the football and hockey venues he hails from where a little chaos always offers a welcome bit of divertimenti.
[This little comment generated a number of REPIES from the usual canuck brigade and from Cosh himself, more entertaining, let me add, than the original column. Interestingly, there is one sport with an affinity to the art of orchestral conducting, an affinity once evoked by none other than the late Herbert van Karajan. It is the sport of horse-jumping, a sport as dangerous and demanding for both man and mount as it is exciting and graceful to the spectator. Steeplechase and conducting, each in its own way, bring out the crucial difference between merely riding something that's been tamed into acquiescence, and actually guiding a thoroughbred with a will of its own over the most formidable terrain, be it terrestrial or artistic. Neither is an undertaking for ten year-olds.]
At a NYT predictably effusive review of Clint Eastwood's Invictus:
Dirty Harry Mole
"The defining theme of his career" has actually been Eastwood's ongoing charade as some kind of "conservative," making violent movies that draw in the mass red state audiences but invariably larding each cliched effort with all the standard liberal platitudes. Show me a politically correct theme this guy hasn't pushed down our throats in film after moralizing film. How else does a "tough guy" get Hollywood's effete elite eating out of his hand every two to three years? Artist he never will be, but when has that ever held up an Academy Award nomination? He's the left's ultimate cultural mole.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Saturday, 14 November 2009
As a young man, I traveled extensively through the Middle East, including Iran, and lived in Israel for two years. Israel is a beacon of light in an area - the Middle East - that is pitch black everywhere else. Israel is a Western democracy, while Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are medieval dictatorships. The so-called 'Middle East conflict' is not about land at all. It is a conflict about ideologies; a battle between Islam and freedom. It is not about some land in Gaza or in Judea and Samaria. It is about Jihad. To Islam the whole of Israel is occupied territory. Islam forces Israel to fight and Israel is not just fighting for itself. Israel is fighting for all of us, for the entire West. Israel is fighting the jihad that is meant for all of us. So we should all defend Israel. We all are Israel.
No one speaks with more authority on the Islamic question than the speaker of the above words, Geert Wilders. Passionate, principled and brave, this former insurance agent and probable future Dutch prime minister strides like a colossus above the tame and timorous ranks of today's politicos. Every place he visits, every day he lives, brings antagonism from Muslims, betrayal from his own countrymen and calumny from the media. He has traveled the world to speak out against the encroachment of radical fundamentalism on Western mores. As he tells it, the advance of Islam necessitates the abridgment of freedom. And he identifies the simple and undeniable source behind all the terror, mayhem and backwardness of Islam, namely the Koran itself. His film, Fitna, which enjoys an on again-off again status on many web sites, including YouTube, lays down the ineluctable challenge for Muslims aspiring to become part of the modern world: renounce the Prophet's own exhortations to compulsion and violence -against Kaffirs, Jews, women and children- or be opposed by freedom loving people worldwide.
For his supporters and admirers, however, he throws down a different kind of challenge: recognize Israel as our ally and vanguard in the growing struggle against Islamic dhimmitude, or provide the adversary with a victory he doesn't deserve. Israel, the land that never should have been, becomes a test for the future of our own.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
From Flanders Fields
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. - John McCrae, In Flanders Fields
News item: 60% of Canadians don't know what Battle of Somme was.
From Flanders fields the restless ghosts
Attempt to man our vacant posts,
Since we with them have broken faith,
And made each soul a warring wraith.
On borders breached, like phantom wards
They'd fain hold back the indifferent hordes,
Whose Babel-like contentious flood
Saps the ground of nationhood.
Not far another sprite's brigade,
Before the State stands unafraid,
To brave the dead hand of power
That makes the living run and cower.
More apparitions raise the seige on
Businessmen whose lies are legion,
Feigning reverence while they announce,
Poinsettias and poppies at huge discounts!
Then pressmen loyal to the merchants,
Affect a truce with death's insurgents,
Assuming a most solemn stance,
Beneath the white flag "tolerance."
At schools the spectres march aghast
Against the shame that shrouds our past,
Where Somme, Dieppe and Passchendaele
Are spoken, if at all, but to assail.
Ethereal ranks then flank the Bench,
Where lawless traitors do entrench
To silence those who stand alone,
Whose valor vies with veterans' own.
At last those shadow soldiers charge,
Though foes are many and dangers large,
As if again to pay the price
And take the field of Sacrifice.
But then the direst threat of all
Mass their forces - in the mall!
A people whose eternal prayer
Is more to shop and less to care.
Theirs is the struggle of the sentry:
To keep awake 'gainst evil's entry;
Worse than torpor poppies reap,
When whole nations fall asleep.
And so these revenants of war
Must hover round us evermore,
Til of betrayer and betrayed
We ask, Who is real and who the shade?
by GJ Tryon
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
It didn't have to be this way. Had Charles possessed any innate caliber for kingship he would have chosen a cause of more moment than the preservation of old churches. How about preserving the faith that originally built them? How about preserving the stock that originally worshipped in them? How about preserving the culture that once expressed itself through them, O defender of the faith? The nation would have rallied behind a true son of the realm who could have donned the mantle of nationhood even if his mother kept the public relations crown. Instead, the "guy with the ears" never had an ear to the ground, never understood what Englishman wanted from a leader, and never revealed any more capacity for blood values than the tampax he once envisaged himself becoming in the pants of his mistress.
Thirty years ago another famous Mid-Eastener, who also new his Muslims, made his own prediction which I've incorporated into the following verse:
Friday, 2 October 2009
Speaking of movies and doom, it seems to me that these phantom Recoveries that keep turning up with such fanfare and elation are rather like those sightings of characters recently deceased in a vampire movie. Of course it always turns out that what was sighted was actually a vampire, not the recently departed at all. The hideous simulacrum must then be grimly dispatched with a stake through the heart if the dear victim is ever to find eternal repose. It then befalls the heros to seek out and destroy the original ghoul who is seducing and transforming the innocents. In the present case that vampire, that Dracula, is Wall Street, blood sucking architect of America's derelict economy, and invincible bubble leach. In the best movies, where audiences get what they want, the infernal thing isn't killed, just given a temporary hiatus pending its redux via the sequel. Somehow it comforts us to know that it can't be killed!
Not that they didn't try, Obama and his yes-we-can vampire slayers. First came the transfusions. But after pouring the life blood of millions of taxpayers into the veins of industry and commerce, alas, the prognosis was not good. The victims kept reverting to their old nocturnal roaming habits, still eager to resume their nefarious trysts with the demon. So then, onto the main lair! Obama and his team of Van Helsings had the sleeping monster in their power for a bit, last spring, right at the terrible climax: the stake was readied, the mallet raised, but then they lost their nerve. Damn it, he looked like someone they knew and loved - all their former colleagues at Goldman and Sachs, actually. Said the faltering Obama, "No, I can't!"
Well, no need to relate what befell our valiant vamp basher after that one moment of weakness. Now the POTUS is seldom seen in the diurnal glare, keeps mostly to the indoors, and wears his collar uncharacteristically high up, as though against the chilly air. And stranger still are reports of his old adversary, Sarah Palin, stake in one hand, hammer in the other, and never without her protective cross, stalking the twilit precincts of the capital with the zeal of a crusader. Expect no weakness from that quarter, Drac!
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Friday, 4 September 2009
That's why a recent tribunal decision is receiving such a heartfelt welcome in so many quarters. Some are wondering if this unexpected decision by one of the commission's own could prove to be the final good-bye to the commission itself. But like most "decisions" these days, the Hadjis ruling is not really very decisive. In fact, it's a bit self-contradictory, very open ended, and probably inconsequential. The Canadian Jewish Congress lost no time in denouncing the ruling nonetheless, calling for an appeal and reiterating their undying faith in the constitutionality of Section 13. (There! I just self-censored myself again, deleting the modifier that preceded the name of that so-called congress. Blow thy trumpet, O Zion! For thy victories are unnumbered.)
And thus the [censored], many of whom are descended from refugees of a broken, Nazified Europe. They came for succor and opportunity, and they stayed for censorship, intolerance and coercing the human conscience. Like I said, blow thy trumpet, O Zion!
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Although he won the Maple Music Best Male Vocalist for 1965, he did so by remaining virtually unheard of, or more exactly, unheard, where I lived, in his own North Vancouver. True, the Vancouver media were all over the guy, big time. He was the product of that DeeJay culture that at one time seemed to count for so much among the so dumb. It is the culture of spin: spinning discs and spinning heads. The Buddy Clydes, the Red Robinsons and Fred Latremouilles were spinning him as the new Elvis just about the time the Beatles and Stones had effectively buried the old Elvis under an avalanche of fresh sounding and interesting music. I remember seeing Black for the first and only time on a local TV venue, the same Dance Party where he was "discovered." Let's see: a singer gets discovered on a TV dance show while dancing to records. Right! So Fabian was famously "discovered" lounging about on his front porch one Saturday afternoon. But let's give Fabian his due, he really could lounge.
Black's carrer, such as it was, and ending as it did in the year of Susan Boyle, was a testament to the limits of spin. I mention Boyle because in a way she represents the opposite of Black: no looks, zero spin, all talent and drive and dedication. I wonder what the aging and disillusioned former teen sensation, by then resigned to making his way by doing beer ads, thought when he saw her performance, that extraordinary act that turned the judges on their heads and won the audience and the world by the sheer power of voice and emotion. Beautiful! If he cried with rest of us, I hope he saved a tear or two for himself and what might have been if only...
For Terry Black
Don't ever let them say you've got talent and flair,
Cause failure's too much to bear,
It's all just air, uh huh uh,
Unless you dare.
Don't dream of stars in heaven
If you don't belong up there,
It's all just air,
Unless you dare.
Terry, if you only knew
How safe and dull you sound!
You got the breaks,
If you'd got what it takes,
You'd have been world-renowned.
So don't dream of bright lights and fame
If singing jingles is no shame,
It's all just air
Unless you dare!
(See original here)
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Calling Canada “the most peaceful, prosperous and enduring democracy the world has ever known,” Harper cast ahead to the 2010 Olympics, which he said will give Canada a chance to showcase itself to the world.
“We must never forget that our country, our way of life, did not come about by accident,” he said. “We are a product of diverse peoples from all corners of the Earth, but committed to common values. A country that offers opportunity to all who seek it. A country proud of our past and confident of our future.” -Ottawa Citizen "You're in Canada - Rock it Out"
Thus Harper striking the usual three chord unofficial anthem of national harmony: tonic chord: feel good peace and prosperity; subdominant: proud past, (if we could only remember it without blushing); and dominant: the future belongs to us. Twang, twang, twang! Nice licks, Steve, but don't quit your day job, as they say.
In point of fact the country was indeed the product of an "accident." Columbus stumbled onto the Americas while looking for China. No need to rehearse all the other stumbles that those gold lusting, slave trading, fur trapping, soul winning, war mongering white Euros made before they finally stumbled onto democracy. Suffice it to say that we're still stumbling, over five centuries later, as Harper's speech implies. We stumble over ourselves and our past and our whiteness and our "diversity.". Most of all, like everyone else, we stumble over the truth. Once in a while by some miracle or accident we stumble on to the truth, and man, that hurts.
Hard to fathom what makes Canada's democracy more enduring than America's, which out-endures it by almost a century. So too the bit about being "prosperous." Canada's spot on the prosperity roster has been sliding for years. Now with peaceful he might be on to something, but only with the caveats that anyone looks peaceful next to America and that peace in itself doesn't imply just or even decent. Indeed, Canada's penchant for peace uber alles is what leads her to censor and arrest people for voicing unpopular opinions, which her tribunals call 'hate" but which the haters call truth. And if truth be known, even our world famous peacefulness is taking a hit from the drug gangs and gun runners: "British Columbia or Columbia?" asked a recent headline in the Economist.
Truth always gets short shrift in a place like Canada, especially on July 1. The Ottawa Citizen story goes on to relate how popular the Mounties were during today's festivities. Was it just a few weeks ago that the Braidwood Commission began detailing the conspiracies and corruptions of our red serge surgers? And but for a lone cell phone that happened to be at the scene we might never have learned how really low our police can act when they think the parade is over and no one's watching. Come September the press will remember its indignation over the Dziekanksi killing, but right now, as the Citizen's headline says, it's time to rock, not rock the boat.
Harper's riff about "a country proud of our past" is also less than truthful. Last year a poll discovered that 60% of Canadians didn't know the Battle of the Somme for what. They didn't tell us what percentage cared. Like it or not our past was anything but peaceful, what with Indians to rob and subdue, rebels to hang and wars to wage. Nonetheless, we have a past that shouldn't be dirted on or apologized for because out of that past came the present, which everyone appears highly to value. As Cassirer wrote, dirt on your past and the future will dirt on you.
Many Canadians strongly object to "true North strong and free" in the real anthem on the grounds that it sounds wrong, i.e., "American." I object, too, because it is wrong, i.e., false. We aren't strong, or we'd be victorious in Afghanistan. We aren't free or we'd be free of Section Thirteen. And we aren't true, either to the past or to the rather forbidding future that's getting ready to rock and roll on us all.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Sunday, 12 April 2009
Can Christianity rise from the dead? Every year the interment of this once "universal faith" seems more settled, permanent and, in retrospect, inevitable. The resurrection myth, once a given across the entire culture, is becoming almost too embarrassing to even rehearse in the mainstream media. The notion that Jesus somehow walked away from the tomb and then flew away to heaven is quite literally becoming the stuff of cartoons. It makes the Easter bunny look like promising ethology by comparison.
In cultural and institutional terms, in art, law and basic societal expectations, Jesus remains Our Lord, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Obama's dismissal of the still preeminent Christian nature of his nation demonstrates what a sadly literal mind he really has. As the old faith fades, and as human beings seem more resigned to the belief that this life is all there is, thinking people should have two qualms: the rise of something sinister in its place and the void of moral anarchy if nothing supersedes it. The shadow of Islam now spreading across Europe, on the one hand, and the chaos of iconoclasm beginning to engulf America, on the other, suggest that, after all, Armageddon may be the only true and verifiable prophecy in the whole Bible. To which I say, God help us all!
Saturday, 31 January 2009
I challenged China's claim she suffered under the Japs,
I threw the Indian's storied battles into doubt,
And found the starving Russians' stats were somewhat out;
History was a garden, mine to prune and weed:
Grafts against the roots, and fruit against the seed;
But when I set to Holocaust my humble hoe,
I learned there are some plots where thought must never go,
And that scholar's zeal nor curiosity,
Should touch one leaf of that Forbidden Tree.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Meanwhile the ongoing farce of the Ellard case just got another supplement of absurdity with yet another appeal granted to the defendant. Trial #4 is now in the works. Will this bitch from hell ever be punished? Will justice ever prevail in Canadung? Faint hope indeed!