Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

There should be no debate at all

I was watching a political show on CBC television last night with the usual political talking heads. The niqab issue came up, the disputed right of a woman to wear a face covering at the Canadian oathtaking  citizenship ceremony. The young zealot for the NDP said “we should not be debating this issue at all”. This was answered by the Tory representative in suitably irenic terms.

Here would have been my response, which is why I do not represent the Conservatives in a public space.

Listen you little faggot bigot! The largest totalitarian social ideology in existence asks us to accommodate their social, sexual, and religious separatism, as they come here to colonize our society. They ask us to respect the niqab. They wear them because they think that women stimulate men to lust, and rather than require men to control their lusts, they repress women because Islam holds women to be unclean, little better than domestic animals.

It is not a question whether only two women have sought to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen and Canada. It is not question of numbers, but of principle. One woman taking the issue to the Canadian courts seems sufficient to overturn immemorial western social and cultural traditions. No question will arise in the Courts whether Canadians have rights not to accede to the most backward interpretation of Islam.

They assert a right to a “religious obligation” that imposes a reciprocal obligation on us, to amend our social customs of female freedom.

I assert the right to cut out hearts of victims and offer them to the Sun God, to keep him shining, and I claim to be a devotee of Huitchilopotchli, the Aztec sun god. I insist on the right to practice my religion. I do not care that my religion may constitute a violation of Canadian social, civil and religious custom. Is that right?

The largest issue in the world is the violent subjection of free and liberal societies to the anti-intellectual, anti-spiritual, and anti-human doctrines of a totalitarian social ideology, through killings, bombings, and lawfare.

And you say this issue should not be debated?  If I said that the white race needs to wage a race war against inferiors, you would have me in jail as fast as you could send me there, and you would organize mobs to shut me up. But if I say that, as a member of the Master Religion, it is my duty to erase your culture and civilization, and to blot out the memory of it, and submit us all to an unchanging set of absolute laws, which have been revealed once and for all and have not been the subject of rational inquiry or discussion since the tenth century of the Christian era, then you say this should not be discussed?

Islamic countries are being destroyed by religious wars, which are now sending millions on the path to colonize Europe, and to subject Europeans to Islam. Countries which cannot produce goods or services to sustain their own populations, and which have been unable to govern themselves constitutionally and peacefully at any time in their collective past, now claim to be able to rearrange our society to its convenience?

And you say this should not even be discussed?

The sad part of this is that the little bigot from the NDP is right. You cannot discuss Islam in public, and yet this is the issue of our times. No wonder the Tories are raising the issue as directly as they can, by defending our social customs. They are  allowing Canadians to express their sentiments on the most important issue before us which, thanks to the ceaseless efforts of people like that bigot from the NDP, has become undiscussable.  It is as if you could not have discussed National Socialism and Hitler in 1936 because one has a religious right to be a national-socialist.


French train terror attack heroes targeted?

Oct 2, 2015
Umpqua Community College shooting

In a taped interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be in the building where Thursday’s shooting took place.

“I had classes in Snyder Hall,” said Skarlatos.”It’s a fairly small community college, the town in general, everybody knows each other. So with that many deceased, I mean everybody’s going to know at least one person.”

Oct 8, 2015
Sacramento stabbing

.Spencer Stone, hailed as a hero after a French train terror attack, has been stabbed in Sacramento, California.

He is currently in a stable condition and is being treated at a local hospital, an Air Force official confirmed to the BBC.

CBS News first reported that he was “stabbed repeatedly” on a Sacramento street corner on Thursday morning.

Mr Stone, 25, is one of three Americans that helped to thwart a terror attack on a French train in August.


Ian Fleming – “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

So we wait.

Watch this

Then make up your own mind. Part stand-up comedy, part boasting talk, part policy, part stream of consciousness, part  posturing: it is tedious, it is entertaining, it is great, it is petty. It is so New York. If he could stop talking about himself for a moment, and talk about policy, he might be less tedious, for people like me,  but it is an amazing show. He reaches the point of seriousness 35 minutes into a one hour and three minutes long speech. And he takes off from there.

  • “We should be more unpredictable”.
  • “Of course I have say I’m a politician, but I’m sorta not”.
  • “Now I’m becoming mainstream – I’ve been on the top of the polls for months”.
  • “People want to see something happen“.
  • “If I win, they (the Iranians) will be back so fast to release their prisoners…because Iran knows it’s going to be a whole different ball game”.
  • “They’re smart and they’re great negotiators” [Iranians]
  • “You know Bergdahl? He’s a traitor” [the US sergeant who deserted].
  • “We have a President who doesn’t have a clue”.
  • “Walls work. Look at Israel”.
  • “We can’t take care of everybody. What do we owe? 19 trillion”
  • “I have guys lined up [US billionaires to negotiate for us]. It’s a chess game. We can play it”
  • “Why are we having gun-free zones in a military camp?”
  • “If I win you will be using “Merry Christmas” all the time”.
  • “We are going to win and we are going to do it better than ever before”.

I remember

I remember my father, at the end of the day, standing at the edge of the lawn, smoking a pipe and silently looking at the view. Quite obviously he was involved in a complex state of mind. The view is and was a grand one, looking out over a lake a half mile away, and through distant farms into ranges of rising hills. In those days he was transforming a beat-up old survival farm of the Eastern Townships into something of an estate.

His old Nova Scotian training in raking pebbles from the garden soil, carefully tending, and by infinite labor coaxing vegetables from a patch of ground, served him well. Such was the depth of the Depression that middle class people grew gardens for survival and spare cash in the 1930s. The training in care, saving everything, and living modestly never deserted him.

I once asked him why he disliked to play bridge. He replied:

-“Do you know how much a movie cost in the Depression?”


-“Twenty five cents. Do you think we had twenty five cents?”

“I see”.

Thus he found himself in his early fifties repeating the labour he had experienced as a child and teenager, but this time around he had a big spread. He had made it. The success that generally attended the well-educated and the survivors of World War 2 was his to enjoy. So he stood, smoking a pipe, gazing immobile at the view, and not doing anything, after a day of raking the soil of stones that would make, in a short time, a beautiful lawn.

I thought of him tonight, as I stood outside, smoking my own pipe, looking at the stars, the inheritor of the same property he worked on, and I still work on, fifty years later. Cutting trees, mowing fields, tending to things that do not pay money.

Though he has been dead for the past fifteen years, I only think about him these days about once a week. Whoever he was, he thought large thoughts. Life is good. Enjoy it. It does not last.

Consider the niqab

The Canadian federal election may turn on Canadian tolerance or not, of Islamic face coverings. The bien-pensants may deplore the rest of us thinking that our tribal/national mores trump their tribal/religious mores, regardless of what the Courts may have to say on the subject. As for me, you know where I stand.

This is not a matter of conformity to some arbitrary tribal custom of Canadians; it is a matter of participation in the group. The law, which is axiomatically dedicated to defending the rights of individuals, fails to reckon that the assertion of a right generates a reciprocal assertion of a responsibility to respect that right. Which is to say that Canadians as a whole are burdened with the responsibility to respect the right of a person to hide their faces, on the grounds that for the face-hider to do otherwise is immodest. The ideas of modesty which might have been appropriate to desert dwellers of antiquity, which was the felt need to protect women from the leering eyes of males, is now asserted as a right in 21st century Canada.

Let us make a thought experiment out of this. Suppose that a religion held that all men and women, when taking an oath, are prescribed by God to do so naked. I mean naked, head to toe. Naked as in a nude beach naked. So they arrive at the place of taking the oath, and when the time comes, strip to their skins, raise their right hands and swear by God true and faithful allegiance to the Queen.

What would be the Court’s basis of objection? Law and social custom regulate that women shall be dressed from above the nipples to well below the pubis. While the Court ruled that Canadian women have aright to be topless, society has not so far lessened its disapproval of female breast baring.

So, would a Canadian court hold that, if a person’s sincere religious belief was that no oath can be properly undertaken while wearing clothes or jewelry, would it allow a person to take the oath naked?
If you look at the reasoning of Mr.Justice Boswell of the Federal Court, the answer is likely yes. The “Policy” mentioned below is the Conservative’s recent directive on face coverings.



Citizenship judges cannot exercise that function to determine what degree of freedom is possible if they instead obey the Policy’s directive to ensure that candidates for citizenship have been seen, face uncovered, taking the oath. How can a citizenship judge afford the greatest possible freedom in respect of the religious solemnization or solemn affirmation in taking the oath if the Policy requires candidates to violate or renounce a basic tenet of their religion?

For instance, how could a citizenship judge afford a monk who obeys strict rules of silence the “greatest possible freedom”in taking the oath if he is required to betray his discipline and break his silence? Likewise, how could a citizenship judge afford a mute person the“greatest possible freedom” in taking the oath if such person is physically incapable of saying the oath and thus cannot be seen to take it ?
As a citizenship judge cannot comply with both the Policy and paragraph 17(1)(b) of the Regulations, it is necessary to determine which prevails.

And we all know how that one went.

The issue of fact which the learned judge rested his opinion was that the face covering is a basic tenet of the Islamic religion, which it is not.

According to Mrs. Ishaq, all that you have to prove is that a) that your practice is  a religious tenet sincerely held, and that b) the rule complained of interferes with the practice in a manner that is neither trivial nor insubstantial. To which I would add, that you find a judge who agrees with your interpretation of your religion, which ought to be dead simple.

My objection to the form of reasoning which constitutes Canadian rights discourse is that the whole is a Procrustean bed. A properly constituted legal discourse would allow for the discussion of public mores in addition to the discussion of infringements of rights, and the standards to be applied in considering the legality of infringements of rights.

There is, in the cosmic scheme of things, very little at stake in someone’s fashion statement, naked or clothed head to foot, if it were a fashion statement. But it is not. Taking the oath says you are also going to abide by the mores of the society which you have joined. At least, that is what you and I and the Conservative government think.

The reasoning allowed by the Courts says this is an inadmissible form of discourse. It is as if half or more of the argument can never be made.

In the meantime we are enjoined by the official organ of the Court party, the Globe and Mail, to

The niqab is a distraction – a culture war fabricated to take voters’ minds off the real and complex issues in this election. Don’t fall for it. Wearing a veil is one thing – wearing a blindfold is another altogether.

I consider that it is the Court Party which is wearing the ideological blindfold. As Prime Minister Wife said this afternoon, the issue is whether you want your daughters to wear one. It is not about individual rights so much as total social direction.

Stay tuned, this election is about something more than oil and the value of the dollar, both of which are largely outside political jurisdiction, for something that is within the boundaries of politics: how we shall live as a society.



Loose lips sink ships

I am tiring of liberal tolerance. To be more precise,  I am tiring of tolerance itself being promoted as a virtue without reference to what is being tolerated.

I had occasion to issue a gentle reproof yesterday to an American friend who keeps uttering nearly homicidal anger at Evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Republicans. In short, I grew intolerant of loose talk the net effect of which was to legitimize violence against one’s fellow citizens. Even if the speaker is civilized and over 65, I am becoming sufficiently alarmed at the general atmosphere of loose talk that I feel it necessary to risk social offence in saying: “tone it down”.


Myspace Chris Harper-Mercer, 26 gunman in the Umpqua Community College in Oregon
Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, gunman in the Umpqua Community College in Oregon

The rampage killer in the Oregon community college, Chris Harper Mercer, martyred – that is the word – ten Christians yesterday for the crime – in his eyes- of their faith. I can only shudder at the bravery of those who, seeing their classmates killed for admitting to being Christians, still admitted to being Christians themselves. I am not sure I would have had the courage. But my concern is the atmosphere of loose anti-Christian talk of the Dawkins-Dennett variety that has pervaded the culture, and given the justification to the crazy angry young men of this world to kill Christians. The killer was not a Muslim; he was what can be described as a secular-humanist, an atheist. Such people used to lack convictions; recently they have been led to believe their atheism amounts to a justification for martyring the faithful who have convictions or beliefs different from their own.

In the same way that we can hold Wahhabist doctrines to be the source of Islamic jihad, so we can now hold militant atheism/materialism  to be responsible for this martyrdom of Christians. They have now joined the ranks of the rest of us fallible humans: people will kill for what they believe, and now the atheist/materialists have their own home-grown American mass killers.

Of course, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot beat them to the punch many years ago.


Have you noticed?

All unprovoked attacks by blacks on other races are always described as “random”. As in statistically unfathomable, without pattern. What is almost always shown on cameras is a black joyfully attacking another person and frequently exulting in the attack.

The victim is almost always described by the police and media as “in the wrong place at the wrong time”, that is, being near a black, male or female, who suddenly attacks. But the violence of black people is always treated like the weather, as beyond predicting.

The witnesses and relatives express deepest mystification as to why the person was attacked. I remember an ancient sound track of George Lincoln Rockwell, American Nazi, in the 1960s – before computer  mediated anything – speaking of “niggers going crazy and killing people”. There are days when I think he had a small but important point,amid his general racist craziness.

“It is not the evil itself which is horrifying about our times – it is the way we not only tolerate evil, but have made a cult of positively worshipping weakness, depravity, rottenness and evil itself.”


According to US federal department of Justice statistics, a white person is 87 times more likely to be killed by a black person in the USA than a black person is likely to be killed by a white person. Yet if you followed the media, you would be tempted to believe that there is a pogrom in operation by policemen to shoot black males. Apparently not.

I could post stuff like this every day and turn my blog into Stuff Black People Don’t Like. I have other things to do. I could just as easily turn Barrelstrength into something dedicated to exposing Islamic Jihad,  with as much justification, and no lack of easily bloggable events. I am too busy trying to earn a living, but please be assured, I notice, and I watch, and I notice many other Canadians of intelligence and good faith are as aware as I am. The fog of political correctness cannot disguise what is going on before our eyes. That is why, to the consternation of the Globe and even the National Post, the niqab issue is gaining traction for the Conservatives.

But I digress.

Stars and planets



This morning I awoke after a long deep sleep and headed outdoors shortly before dawn. The weather was September cool, the sky clear. A huge blazing star caught my attention in the east. Time for the sky map, an app for the handheld which explains every star and planet in the sky.

The Mobius Sky Map solves the problem of light sources. All the old analog star charts had to be read in darkness, and so a light source had to be found by which to read it. The light caused one’s eyes to not be able to see the stars – a vicious circle. Today the star chart is its own source of light.

I walked up the road to a clearing, and there in all their glory were Venus, Mars and Jupiter in a rough vertical line rising from the eastern horizon. My sky map also showed that the sun was below the horizon, with Mercury near it.

The genius of these systems is that they work day and night. You can point them through the earth and they will show you stars you cannot see in the northern hemisphere. They pay no attention to the presence of the earth below your feet, the obstruction of trees or buildings.

The device locates your latitude and longitude via satellites, and from that inertial moment the rest of the stars and planets are displayed in the system according to where they should be, with little labels for constellations and stars. The system is beautiful and adds greatly to one’s enjoyment of the night sky.



From the people who brought you the hockey stick

The Volkswagen emissions testing scandal is well analyzed by Clive Crook, an economist writing for Bloomberg View. The deepest level of the scandal, he says, lies in the government policies about “global warming” that have led to the emissions controls in the first place. I favour emissions controls for clean air, let me assure you, but the AGW catastrophism adds the element of an eternal treadmill of ever higher emissions standards, which creates the incentives to fake test results.

It’s this scandal that teaches the most important lessons. Beginning in the mid-1990s, mindful of their commitments to cut carbon emissions, Europe’s governments embarked on a prolonged drive to convert their car fleets from gasoline to diesel. With generous use of tax preferences, they succeeded. In the European Union as a whole, diesel vehicles now account for more than half of the market. In France, the first country to cross that threshold, diesel now accounts for roughly 80 percent of motor-fuel consumption.

What was the reasoning? Diesel contains more carbon than gasoline, but diesel engines burn less fuel: Net, switching to diesel ought to give you lower emissions of greenhouse gases. However, there’s a penalty in higher emissions of other pollutants, including particulates and nitrogen oxides, or NOx. Curbing those emissions requires expensive modifications to cars’ exhaust systems. To facilitate the switch, Europe made its emission standards for these other pollutants less stringent for diesel engines than for gasoline engines. The priority, after all, was to cut greenhouse gases.

Except that the switch to diesel probably didn’t cut greenhouse gases. Making diesel cheaper by taxing it at a preferential rate encouraged people to drive more. And emissions of GHGs higher up the fuel-supply chain are worse for diesel than for gasoline. (Increasing demand for diesel drew in more supplies from Russia; producing and moving those supplies caused more emissions.) Treating diesel to lower its sulfur content adds yet another carbon penalty.

At best, the clean-diesel strategy lowered carbon emissions much less than hoped, and at ridiculous cost; at worst, as one study concludes, the policy added to global warming.

I read the other day that much a of climate skepticism does not come from climate change denial, but from skepticism about government’s inability to manage a box of Chiclets, let alone a complex issue involving the interplay of science and the use of fossil fuels versus renewables.

An anecdote may be worth passing on. I heard the other day from someone who might know for a fact that the federal environment minister had proposed to pass a regulation on alcohol content in windshield wiper liquid. This was at the behest of eco-fanatics (a.k.a. responsible civil servants) within the federal  Department of the Environment.

The effect of this regulation, if it had passed, would have been to lower the alcohol level such that windshield wiper fluid would freeze at -15C, a temperature achieved in winter in most of Canada for months at a time. If you have ever sprayed your windshield and found that the wipers are not clearing your windshield, you will realize what a disaster that would have caused. Now imagine millions of cars moving around Canada in January when even places like Toronto are at -15C. Yes, people would have died by the dozens in road accidents, as wiper fluid froze onto windshields.

The proposal would have come to Cabinet, but someone somewhere (presumably a central agency) caught it.

These are the same kinds of people propagating windmills about the landscape to save us from fossil fuels. These are the same kinds of people espousing higher emissions standards for cars. Junk science, junk policy. And Michael Mann is still a free man. In a properly organized mediaeval state he would have burned at the stake close beside Savonarola, for preaching false doctrines.

Where is the Inquisition when you need it? Oh, I forgot, in modern days it would be imprisoning climate change skeptics.