Bourgeois Dignity: Why economics can’t explain the modern world


Deirdre McCloskey is a phenomenal writer, economist, and thinker. Visit her website for an explosion of academic productivity and a highly intelligent viewpoint. We share one thing in common. Both of us have had the gravest doubts that economics as it is usually practiced is capable of explaining much. My friend Oban calls it the anorexic profession: not merely starved, but self starving. Its insights are few, but powerful, but it has become wedded to asking very narrow questions and getting very narrow, if important, insights.

McCloskey breaks the mould. Here is how she begins Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (2010) “Sixteen. The magic number is sixteen. The world is on average sixteen times wealthier than it was in 1800.” She finds that the economic discussion fails to comprehend or explain why ‘the largest revolution in human affairs since the invention of agriculture’, as she puts it, has occurred in the past two hundred years. She looks at all the explanations proferred by the economics profession , and finds them inadequate to explain the scale of the transformation from $3 a day world average in 1800 to $48 a day world average (or $147 a day in formerly impoverished Norway).

After demolishing the usual explanations (rule of law, expansion of trade, rise of the middle class – without reference to ideas, war, slavery, imperialism, or population growth) she settles on changed ideas and social attitudes towards innovation.

Changing social ideas, in short, explain the Industrial Revolution. Material and economic factors – such as trade or investment or exploitation or population growth or the inevitable rising of classes or the protections to private property – do not. They were unchanging backgrounds, or they had already happened long before, or they didn’t actually happen at the time they are supposed to have happened, or they were weak, or they were beside the point, or they were consequences of the rhetorical change, or they required the dignity and liberty of ordinary people to have the right effect. And it seems that such material events were not in turn the main causes of the ethical and rhetorical change itself.

Most of the book consists of a careful elimination of the causes usually offered for the Industrial Revolution, and involves naturally a series of disputes with the standard materialistic explanations offered by the economics profession. Many if not most of the economists with whom she disputes  have been at various times her teachers, mentors or students, and on the whole the arguments are kept at the friendly tone with which old friends argue.

I grant that I am inclined to non-materialist explanations. Materialism is the doctrine that there is only matter and its motions, and that mind is an epiphenomenon, as a shadow is to the body for example, and not a primary cause in its own right. Yet anything we know to be important in our own lives has occurred by decisions we have made, that led to actions on our part.

McCloskey argues in this book that the standard sets of explanations for the huge rise in human wealth since 1800 are insufficient, when they are not merely wrong. Bourgeois Dignity is the second of a series of six books she has planned. The next in the series, Bourgeois Equality (2015) is already out. I have already ordered it.

McCloskey is one of those writers who are so enlightening and well argued that you need not fully agree in order to profit from them greatly.

She may think it relevant, but I do not, that she underwent a sex change from man to woman in 1995. More pertinent, in my view, was that she was an atheist and is now an Episcopalian, and was an acolyte of Milton Friedman and now entertains a broader conception of her profession.


Abu Sayyaf and the “experts”: crime not jihad

Mark SInger

Mark Singer from his Linked In page

Mark Singer, director of business intelligence for the Manila office of Pacific Strategies and Assessments Inc., which closely tracks Abu Sayyaf, thinks that jihad has nothing to do with their kidnappings, extortions and beheadings. I wonder why.

This is the narrative we are all supposed to accept:

“It is a manifestation of their willingness to do this (kidnap, threaten and behead prisoners)  to leverage their criminal activities. They are first and foremost a kidnap group,” the security and risk analyst said

“The black flags and the rhetoric reinforce their claims, but they are not ideologically driven. They are driven totally by criminal intent and kidnap for ransom.”

Militant Video via The Associated Press


“Driven totally by criminal intent and kidnap for ransom”.  Rubbish. Bandits with religious or ideological justification are different from mere bandits. What makes Muslim terrorism different from mere banditry is that Islam authorizes by them religion to smite the infidel, to waylay them, to behead them. These are not bandits who rob banks “because that’s where the money is.”

Yes, they are criminals. But the particular form of criminality is a cultural expression of Islam. Where there are Muslims, so there will be jihad. This is a statistical correlation, not a one for one correspondence. I would go further and assert that it is an ineluctable consequence of being inspired by the prophet Mohammed to do as he commanded his disciples to do.

The contact webpage of Mark Singer’s employers is You can use that contact point to communicate with Pacific Strategies and Assesments, who, judged by their backgrounds,look like serious and responsible people.

Mr. Singer is entitled to his opinions but you may wish to express your concerns, as politely as possible, that the quality of their advice is measured by the quality of their spokesmen.


David Warren is a pain in the ass. His Roman Catholicism is so extreme it might be wondered whether he is a Christian. He is also the only person I have ever met who may yet be made a saint. Go figure.

Do yourselves a favour one of these days soon. Read any number of essays by him on his blog, until you have had your fill.

He reminds me of the last view hobbits had of the elven queen Galadriel on the shores of the Anduin River, as the hobbits floated downstream from the enchanted forest of Lothlorien, heading to perilous adventures in Mordor. There is something lost-in-time about his world view that excites my admiration and annoyance simultaneously. I can only pray that my annoyance may yet bring forth some kind of sustained intellectual effort to find out why I disagree, and where.

But I am not going to be made a saint and Warren may yet be declared one in some reactionary Catholic future, as yet to be imagined, where Chesterton is thought to be the most important writer of the 20th century.

Immune deficiency disease

A friend sent me an article asking if Europe was bent on self-destruction, and as you may be sure, answered to the effect that it is. You do not have to look far to find it: decline of faith, decline of mission, Muslim invasion, hatred of Israel,covering up Islamic atrocities,  blaming white people for everything are among the symptoms. David Goldman, who blogs as Spengler, is a firm exponent that Germany in particular is spiritually sick and demographically ruined.

Since my time in college, back in the late sixties, an eruption of anti-intellectual, anti-white, anti-male and anti-Christian thought has marched through the learning institutions, such that kids graduating from school are firmly in the grip of Marxian opinions without the bother of actually knowing anything, as it seems. While the economic claptrap of Marx has been abandoned, the mindset inculcated in universities is largely hostile to those institutions, beliefs and  customs that make life as rich and free as it is in the West. Spineless self-hatred seems to be the order of the day.

This deduction could be the effect of reading too many conservative blogs, or it could be an actual phenomenon out there in the real world. The Islamic refugee invasion permitted by Chancellor Merkel testifies to the fact that what I am talking about is out there in the real world.

To cite Herbert Marcuse’s seminal article, Repressive Tolerance, from 1965:

   Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.

And so forth. The malign effects of the Frankfurt School seems to have gained an impressive victory over everything standing in its path. Its influence is the lasting inheritance of largely German, and almost exclusively Jewish, Marxists or Marxians. (Jürgen Habermas is an exception).

It is not unusual for there to exist powerful alternatives to the dominant ideology in a liberal society. What is unusual these days is that the dominant ideology seeks the destruction of the society that tolerates it in our universities and guardian institutions. Many tenured intellectuals seem to be generating the rot on which they feed, as termites take down the house in which they dwell.

Western self-hatred and self-disgust is not, I would argue, a natural phenomenon, or the waking up to the sins of the past,  but is the calculated result of the poison we have allowed to drip into our veins from the writings of Marxists and their successors. But why have we allowed it? And why has it been so successful?

The difference in post World War 2 western societies is that the cultural anti-bodies have been so weakened that we have no longer have sufficient defences against these poisons. In my view, however mistaken it may be, multiculturalism is not in substance tolerance – which is a worthy state of being in certain circumstances – but is used and promoted as an antidote to remedy the whiteness of our civilization, which is a defect that needs fixing. Anyone familiar with a truly multi-cultural society, such as Lebanon, India, or the Balkans, knows that truly different cultures are not a source of strength, but act as much as fissures for sectarian and cultural strife. Look at French and English Canada, Walloon and Flemish Belgium. These are mild compared to serious religious differences. When two cultures in the bosom of one state cannot agree that God is powerless to make 2+2=5, then the differences go to the root of one’s apprehension of reality.

And how did we arrive here?

I blame Adolf Hitler. His poisonous ideology of racial supremacy and his wars of annihilation had to be defeated and stopped, as they duly were. But the reaction against Hitlerism and its associated white supremacism has been endless. In every department of inquiry,  the inherent differences between and among people, sexes, races, nations and cultures have been ignored, and discussion of them made too expensive, too risky. Thus for instance, despite all the strong and unequivocal evidence for the predominant influence of genes on intelligence, such findings are systematically discounted. The mention of male-female differences  by a Harvard President cost him his job and the possibility of being US Federal Bank Chairman, yet, for example,  the most important woman mathematician ranks 140th in the list of the world’s most important mathematicians.

human accomplishment


As Charles Murray demonstrates in his Human Accomplishment, the overwhelming preponderance of important scientists, musicians, authors, and artists who have ever lived were white, and came from very specific regions of Europe, which have changed over time, from around Florence to the Low countries and England. Don’t believe me? Read the book. The detail, the maps, the facts will persuade you. As Murray observed, the entire scientific output of Islamic civilization is ranked less by scientific encyclopedias than that of Michael Faraday.

So why then, have our cultural anti-bodies become so weak? Every being in nature is constantly beset and invaded by germs, and would-be parasites. Likewise every society is constantly exposed to ideas hostile to its beliefs,customs, and institutions. What is decadent and abnormal is that we accept the views of ourselves promulgated by our enemies, internal and external. And of the two kinds, the internal are the more serious long term threat.

I know that my liberal friends may think this is nuts; they believe that we are strong because we are so open. I say we are open because we are strong, but that the source of our strength lies not merely in openness, but a belief that we are right. And that belief has been systematically sapped for generations by leftist spiritual termites.

Where is the can of Raid?


Supreme Court upholds religious freedom, kinda, sorta

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Catholic school can teach Catholicism as if it were true, and not just another opinion. One would think this was an obvious right of a religious school, but the government Quebec has gone overboard, as is its wont, in pushing a secular agenda on everyone.

It is as if Quebec had abandoned Christianity but kept the worst aspects of Roman Catholic social conformity, rather than keeping Christianity and rejecting Catholic insistence that we all think  the same thing at the same time.

The judgment of the Court is found here.

Madam Justice Abella wrote for the majority:


Freedom of religion means that no one can be forced to adhere to or refrain from a particular set of religious beliefs. This includes both the individual and collective aspects of religious belief. Religious freedom under the Charter must therefore account for the socially embedded nature of religious belief, and the deep linkages between this belief and its manifestation through communal institutions and traditions.

                    The context in this case is state regulation of religious schools. This raises the question of how to balance robust protection for the values underlying religious freedom with the values of a secular state. The state has a legitimate interest in ensuring that students in all schools are capable, as adults, of conducting themselves with openness and respect as they confront cultural and religious differences. A vibrant, multicultural democracy depends on the capacity of its citizens to engage in thoughtful and inclusive forms of deliberation. But a secular state does not — and cannot — interfere with the beliefs or practices of a religious group unless they conflict with or harm overriding public interests. Nor can a secular state support or prefer the practices of one group over another. The pursuit of secular values means respecting the right to hold and manifest different religious beliefs. A secular state respects religious differences, it does not seek to extinguish them.

Loyola is a private Catholic institution. The collective aspects of religious freedom — in this case, the collective manifestation and transmission of Catholic beliefs — are a crucial part of its claim. The Minister’s decision requires Loyola to teach Catholicism, the very faith that animates its character, from a neutral perspective. Although the state’s purpose is secular, this amounts to requiring a Catholic institution to speak about its own religion in terms defined by the state rather than by its own understanding. This demonstrably interferes with the manner in which the members of an institution formed for the purpose of transmitting Catholicism can teach and learn about the Catholic faith. It also undermines the liberty of the members of the community who have chosen to give effect to the collective dimension of their religious beliefs by participating in a denominational school.

                    In the Quebec context, where private denominational schools are legal, preventing a school like Loyola from teaching and discussing Catholicism from its own perspective does little to further the ERC Program’s objectives while at the same time seriously interfering with religious freedom. The Minister’s decision suggests that engagement with an individual’s own religion on his or her own terms can be presumed to impair respect for others. This assumption led the Minister to a decision that does not, overall, strike a proportionate balance between the Charter protections and statutory objectives at stake in this case.

But here comes the large qualification:

That said, the Minister is not required to permit Loyola to teach about the ethics of other religions from a Catholic perspective. The risk of such an approach would be that other religions would necessarily be seen not as differently legitimate belief systems, but as worthy of respect only to the extent that they aligned with the tenets of Catholicism. This contradicts the ERC Program’s goals of ensuring respect for different religious beliefs. In a multicultural society, it is not a breach of anyone’s freedom of religion to be required to learn (or teach) about the doctrines and ethics of other world religions in a neutral and respectful way. In a religious high school, where students are learning about the precepts of one particular faith throughout their education, it is arguably even more important that they learn, in as objective a way as possible, about other belief systems and the reasons underlying those beliefs.

                    Teaching the ethical frameworks of other religions in a neutral way may be a delicate exercise, but the fact that there are difficulties in implementation does not mean the state should be asked to throw up its hands and abandon its objectives by accepting a program that frames the discussion of ethics primarily through the moral lens of a school’s own religion.

This is the part I do not understand. You can be respectful without being neutral. You can deal with a belief system as morally serious without accepting it, just as you can deal with Communism, or Aztec heart sacrifice, without for a minute accepting its premises.

You can be neutral without being respectful, as for example, Dawkins and other materialists are neutral but disrespectful towards all metaphysical and religious concepts.

Why indeed, should a religious school be prohibited from framing the discussion of ethics primarily through the moral lens of the school’s own religion?

Skyhookers versus the Up From Belows

There is an immense cosmic Opinion Bowl, the Cosmodome. It seats a hundred million people, most of whom, at a given time, are dead spirits. They shout as lustily as the small minority of the audience who at any given time are living.The game lasts eternally. There are time-outs for civilizational collapses, plagues, and really serious wars. If the Opinion Bowl has been at various times destroyed, it has always been rebuilt. In the Opinion Bowl one fight has gone on since the dawn of civilization. It is a struggle for dominance in explanations, between the Skyhookers and the Up-From-Belows. There are other matches too, besides the Skyhookers versus Up-from- Belows, and sub-fights within the factions. The immense, indeed near infinite audience, forms into factions and tribes at the speed of thought.

Prominent captains of the Skyhookers have included Plato, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Aristotle, Descartes, Pascal and other luminaries of the Western canon. Monotheists tend to be Skyhookers, but not exclusively, nor even to the extent of denying the arguments of the Up-from-belows. Indeed the question of theism – is there an organizing God? – tends to confuse the debate somewhat, because the debate is really about whether matter is sufficiently self-organizing for conscious observers (us) to emerge from the primordial stews, or was there some help – guidance if you will – from the future, from where we will end up, allowing for an overall purpose and direction in history. Such a view – the importance of observation – is consistent with the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics.

Unfortunately the two thousand year-long  dominance of Plato and Aristotle, two of the greatest skyhookers who ever thought, who were blind to the virtues of evolution, of trade, of self-organization, of growth and development, biased the intellectual life of the West to static thought, to anti-mercantile attitudes, and to the idea of immutable characters and essences. Aquinas’ adoption of Aristotle in the 12th century, and his acceptance by the Church as official orthodoxy, kept Skyhooker attitudes firmly entrenched in the core of official Christianity. It took a Reformation and a scientific revolution to loosen the links between Christianity and Aristotle. It now asserts that faith in Skyhooks is just that, faith, and if you do not believe in the Great Skyhook, you have not understood the Gospels properly.

The Up-from-Belows started out small but in the last few centuries have grown to dominate the game. First it was Epicurus, then Lucretius who set Epicurus’ thought to one long poem, and the near miraculous finding of a lost text of Lucretius in a German monastery at the time of the Renaissance. Lucretius is the first exposition of a materialist world of self-organizing atoms without the need for gods to explain anything. No wonder the Platonists were not anxious to preserve it. Later came Adam Smith, David Hume, Darwin, Friedrich Hayek, economists, and other proponents of the self-organizing capacities of nature and man. Atheists are, in general, up-from-belows, but many proponents of the Skyhook tradition also acknowledge the reality and importance of the self-organizing features of nature, which includes human beings.

Now Skyhook is a term of derision, like Puritan, Tory, Quaker, Whig, Protestant, Grit. The Skyhookers think that the entire universe has been brought into existence by a Mind, and that it is pervaded or organized by something like thought, and that behind the appearances is a Big Thinker, who has brought reality into being. Not just quarks and leptons, the strong force and the weak force, electromagnetism and gravity, but mind itself. They point out that mind is a feature of this universe that has to be explained.

Other skyhookers think that minds in the future are, by the force of their observations in the future, bringing into existence a state of affairs conducive to life, consciousness and intelligence. This view was the basis of the recent science fiction movie, Interstellar.

The Up-from-belows, when they wade into cosmology, get into trouble with mind. Their views are frequently materialist, and their ideas of matter are seen, by Skyhookers, as constricting limitations of the largest kinds on whatever could be real.  Daniel Dennett is a prominent example. Extreme materialists end up denying the existence of mind, or denying the particular appearance of qualities (known to the trade as qualia). If everything is self-organizing matter, and we know that matter is dead – so to speak – then mind is found in brains, and dies with brains. Brain generates mind, and not the other way around. This conclusion is an undiscussable reality for the extreme materialist.

The Sky-hookers say that Mind is a feature of this universe that needs explanation, and they rely on the Benign Designer God as their Super Turtle, the explanation that stops the need for an infinite regress of explanations. The Universe rests on the back of an Elephant, and the Elephant stands on the back of a Turtle, and either it’s turtles all the way down (infinite regress), or a Super Turtle ends the regression. That is what I mean by a Super Turtle.

Many Up-from-belows say that the question is absurd: we are here by fluke. Others say that we live in a multiverse, and in this world of infinite possibilities, we just happen to live in the world that generated minds to observe it. So they offer the same explanation as the flukers, only disguise it under the multiplication of universes. Many up-from-belows  disparage the idea of  an Intellgient Designer, but hold that physical laws are Platonic abstractions that exists outside of time and space.  Designer God, fluke, multiverse, the immutable Laws of Nature which exists outside human influence: each is a Super Turtle. The whole issue is explored entertainingly and well by Paul Davies in the Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?

Just because the Up-from-belows wander into conceptual and metaphysical difficulties when they ponder the origin of everything, and the nature of mind, does not mean that they are wrong about how  human institutions have evolved.

Thinkers as different as Darwin and Hayek are in the Up-from-Below camp. It is frequently amazing to me that people who celebrate the process of biological discovery called evolution tend to be squeamish about the process of price and product discovery called capitalism.

The basic idea is that humans create order without thinking about it, and that order causes changes in us, as we adapt to it and develop social customs that allow for greater wealth creation and more complex societies. Such an idea infuses thinkers like Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. In fact Charles Darwin is known to have thoroughly read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations when he was in university.



This has to be the most long-winded introduction to a wonderful book by Matt Ridley, the Evolution of Everything. I strongly recommend it.

Ridley engages in a thorough exploration that evolution applies to everything: religions, moralities, biology, technology, languages, laws: a complete bottom-up self-organizing explanation of everything.I do not find it necessary to agree with every argument of a writer, especially when they are engaged in a serious romp through vast reaches of important subject matters. For a splendid stimulation of your mind, even as you may argue with it as you read, Ridley’s book makes a great Christmas gift.

He is not the kind of writer who obliges you to agree with him on pain of being cast into outer darkness.

If you google this book, ignore especially the Guardian’s mean spirited assassination attempt. Kirkus Reviews discusses the actual ideas of Ridley fairly.


Decadence 2

An interesting article in Spiked! by Frank Furedi, called “Teaching Consent, Teaching Intimacy” is valid and worth reading on how colleges are screwing up the idea of consent to make males look like rapists. I commend it for that alone.

But down in the weeds of commentary is this gem from a JDsHandsome Son:

When a species becomes sick, lame, lazy, stupid and just too anemic to carry on, Mother Nature sends in a predator to take it out. She does this for the benefit of all the other species who might be better able to use Her valuable resources.

Western civilization has become such a collection of weak, inbred hemophiliacs, bubble boys, and snowflakes that Mother Nature is fed up with it. Her predator of choice is Islam and its legions of rabid murderous hordes taking over Europe and eventually America, both of which have shown their weariness of life and liberty. She also is staging Russia and China to provide some assistance if necessary.

Europe is being colonized with military aged men streaming across the continent and who will soon be slaughtering its fragile native born eunuchs, geldings and neurotic females too pathetic to any longer even manage their intimate lives without being told by others how to act. As soon as the invaders are settled in government provided housing and the benefits checks start to roll in to their accounts, they will begin to protest their treatment. After that, they’ll start thinning out the European herd by murdering their hosts.

We in America can only hope enough brain dead citizens here can wake up and overthrow the progressive stupidity, such as this ridiculous “consent” nonsense, that has seized this once proud nation. Perhaps more images of UK citizens beheaded on London streets in broad daylight as other citizens saunter around the bodies like farm animals sniffing the carcasses before being nudged to their slop buckets will open those sleepy eyes.

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.


30% of Americans think he is Muslim

Misperceptions about Obama’s religious beliefs are more common than those about his birth, particularly among Republicans. Overall, 29% of Americans say they think the President is a Muslim, including 43% of Republicans.

Gosh! I can’t imagine why.

  • Obama gives a major foreign policy speech to El-Ahram Mosque in Cairo, claiming to understand why Muslims are angry because American foreign policy has interfered with the Hajj, among other offences.
  • Obama gives a speech at the United Nations saying the future does not belong to those who insult the Prophet Mohammad.
  • Obama backs the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the suppression of which has been the goal of all governments of Egypt since it was formed in the 1930s.The Muslim Brotherhood takes over after the “Arab Spring”  and sets about persecuting and murdering Christians, burning churches, and driving the country to near bankruptcy. Also causing trouble for Israel.
  • Obama turns on Ghaddaffi, the only source of stability in Libya, bombs him into smithereens after he has voluntarily got rid of all nuclear  materials, and presides over the creation of a state of anarchy in Libya, which engenders new flow of refugees and migrants, and allows for more slaughter of Egyptian Christians.
  • When the Egyptian Army restores sanity and order be overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood government, Obama refuses to supply the Army with new weapons, and maintains a generally hostile attitude towards the only force for sanity in Egypt, General Al-Sissi, who in former times would have been understood to be “our guy”.
  • Obama withdraws US troops from Iraq, opening the way for Da’esh to take over.
  • Obama negotiates a weak and flawed nuclear deal with Iran, which will drive the Sunnis to arm themselves accordingly.
  • By failing to stabilize the Middle East, Obama engenders a horde of Syrian migrants to invade Europe, simultaneously assisting the Islamification of Europe while making no criticism of Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states for refusing a single migrant to enter.
  • When Russia sides with Assad to fight Da’esh (ISIL), Obama expresses hostility to the plan, yet ending the Syrian conflict is the only chance of stabilizing the region and turning off the flood of refugees.

Is there anything I have missed? Most assuredly. Why, for example,  was the US Ambassador to Libya dealing arms out of the Libyan consulate and sending them to fight Assad in Syria?

And you wonder why some low information voter gets the impression that Obama is a Muslim? In whose interest is he ruling? Why would anyone think they are fundamentally mistaken? They just attribute religious motivation to Obama’s perfidy.

You have the right to utter ‘stupidities’: Quebec premier

It was in relation to complaints of an Imam that Premier Couillard of Quebec was speaking. And I like this guy more and more, Phillippe Couillard, that is.

ST-GEORGES-DE-BEAUCE — Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Friday he doesn’t share the Muslim Council of Montreal’s view that laughing at religions should be punished.

Last week, Imam Salam Elmenyawi told committee hearings on Quebec’s proposed hate-speech legislation that mocking Islam was unacceptable.

“When you laugh at my religion, you’re laughing at me, you’re laughing at my wife, you’re laughing at the Prophet,” Elmenyawi told members of the National Assembly on Aug. 20. “If your intention is to protect people, you have to understand that for a Muslim, when you mock his religion, you attack his very person.”

Yes you do. There is no gap between a Muslim and his religious beliefs.They are not a part of him; they are him.  It took several centuries of religious warfare in the west to to put some distance between a person’s right to assault you and your disparagement of his religious beliefs. We have by and large achieved this tolerance, and we no longer are justified by law and society for killing people for offending our conceptions of salvation and the revelations we have received from our Gods. In some ways, this is too bad, but for the most part it has brought down the murder rate, and encouraged civil discourse, and allowed progress.

Couillard told reporters at his party’s pre-session caucus in St-Georges-de-Beauce he disagreed with Elmenyawi.

“We’re still listening to people coming to the hearings, but we want to say very, very loud and clear that we don’t want to obstruct freedom of expression in Quebec. Freedom of expression means saying stupid things or even ridiculous things, and then it’s up to you, it’s up to us to say why it’s ridiculous and why it shouldn’t be said, but not to bar somebody from saying this.”

“The line has to be traced in the sand, though, and for us the line is calling for violence. This is what we want to do, this is what we want to achieve and, hopefully, with the hearings we’ll find a good balance,” Couillard said.

Premier Couillard is a former neurosurgeon, who had worked for four years in Saudi Arabia, after being head of neurosurgery in important Quebec hospitals. He quit medicine and ran for office in 2003.

It is my constant complaint that Quebecois do not travel enough; they have not yet appreciated the vast diversity of the world. Many still think the English Canadians are foreigners, as in, really different people. Protestant and all that. Historical enemies, and heretics.

Thus it is significant that Quebec’s current premier has spent time in the midst of Islam, and has come back to run the province. He knows. He quit the medical profession in 2003, was elected and became Minister of Health under Premier Charest, and became Premier in 2013.

I have often maintained that we do not need political leaders to rant about Islam; we need leaders who will firmly rebuff its cultural assumptions, and in Couillard we have found one.

Incidentally, have you heard anything out of Quebec in the past two years? The silence is of Couillard getting the place in order.

He is 58 years old. I can imagine him as the next Conservative leader, or the next Liberal one. It will make no difference.