Only to the oblivious is this not obvious

The title is Why states with more marriages are richer states. It is thus a statement because the actuality is hardly worth disputing.

According to new research, states with a high concentration of married couples experience faster economic growth, less child poverty and more economic mobility than states where fewer adults are married, even after controlling for a variety of economic and demographic factors. The study, from the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies, also finds that the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state’s economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state’s residents.

In this day and age, even just freely choosing to get married puts you into a different caste. As Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit observes, where this was found, Bourgeois values — they’re not just transgressive, they actually work! As he says, “we can hope that saving money, avoiding debt and treating friends and family with consideration are now edgy enough to become trendy.” For me, it remains that a happy marriage is God’s greatest gift. You can then get on with everything else without adolescent distraction.

If the shoe fits, wear it

This is why I love free speech and an open society. The article from The Oz is written by Uthman Badar, the media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia. You may judge for yourself whether he makes his case. The title is Finger points at Islam every time and this was his central point:

It is the establishment, then, and mainstream media that shamelessly milk attacks such as the Parramatta shooting, creating political and social hysteria to justify foreign and domestic interventions that only further besiege an entire community, feed the anger of its youth and perpetuate the cycle of violence.

But do read it all. And then when you’ve read that, read the one that sits on the page next to it by Jennifer Oriel: Known wolves pose huge threat.

Australia’s new security measures must move beyond the comforting lone-wolf myth to address the discomfiting reality that jihadism is an organised crime arising from networks of Islamist terrorists.

That was the opening sentence. You can go on from there for yourself.

Trump was worried about terrorists a year before 911

The article is titled, Over A Year Before 9/11, Trump Wrote Of Terror Threat With Remarkable Clarity This is from his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, that is, a book written while Bill Clinton was still president. This is part of what he wrote then:

“I may be making waves, but that’s all right,” wrote Trump. “Making waves is usually what you need to do to rock the boat, and our national-security boat definitely needs rocking.

Let’s point fingers. The biggest threat to our security is ourselves, because we’ve become arrogant. Dangerously arrogant. It’s time for a realistic view of the world and our place in it. Do we truly understand the threats we face? And let me give a warning: You won’t hear a lot of what follows from candidates in this campaign, because what I’ve got to say is definitely not happy talk.

There are forces to be worried about, people and programs to take action against. Now.”

“We face a different problem when we talk about the individual fanatics who want to harm us,” The Donald continued, discussing the threat from individual terrorist organizations that despised American culture.

Trump said such people were determined to attack us.

“We can kid ourselves all we want by mocking their references to the Great Satan, but also keep in mind that there is no greater destiny for many people than to deal the Great Satan a major kick in the teeth,” he wrote, adding they despised the U.S. support for Israel.

“Our teenage boys fantasize about Cindy Crawford; young terrorists fantasize about turning an American city (and themselves) into charcoal,” Trump wrote.

Other than not being old school tie, just exactly what is wrong with him as President? I guess the way things are heading, we are going to find out in real time.

Canada elects a Liberal government – another Trudeau

In Canada that, of course, means that the Conservatives have lost. Justin Trudeau to be prime minister as Liberals surge to majority.

Justin Trudeau will be Canada’s next prime minister after leading the Liberal Party to a stunning majority government win, dashing the hopes of Stephen Harper, who had been seeking his fourth consecutive mandate, CBC News has projected.

This will be the second time Canada will be led by a Trudeau, as the Liberal leader follows in the footsteps of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who served as prime minister for almost 16 years before retiring in 1984.

“Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways,” Trudeau told his enthusiastic supporters in Montreal. “This is what positive politics can do.”

Canadians, he said, had sent a clear message that it’s “time for change in this country my friends. Real change.”

And real change is what they will get. It is like the Clinton name in the US. You cannot see why they would elect either, but you cannot deny that is what the voters want.

The advice from Small Dead Animals comes via Captain Capitalism (i.e Aaron Cleary): Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States Western Civ.

The “End of America?” Most likely. The “Demise of liberty?” You betcha! The “Destruction of Western Civilization?” Of course! But why let all of the above get you down? Learn to “Enjoy the Decline!” “Enjoy the Decline” is mandatory reading for all conservatives, libertarians, Americans, and lovers of freedom who are mourning the slow, but sure death of their culture and their country. America is over. Freedom will be curtailed. Liberty is dead. And above all else, it is inevitable. But the answer is not to get depressed and give up hope. The answer is to change your attitude and learn how to “Enjoy the Decline.” You get one life on this planet and Aaron Clarey explains how to get the most out of it even though socialism and tyranny are all around you. From learning how to adapt your psychology to learning to let go and take advantage of the socialist system, “Enjoy the Decline” carries the freedom loving American through the 5 stages of grief and puts them on a path to enjoy their life regardless of what is happening to their beloved America. Dark, macabre, and morose, but truthful, helpful, and practical all the same, it is guaranteed to make you happier than your socialist counterparts even though they have everything they want. Make leftists, liberals, and progressives miserable. Enjoy the Decline!

Life meanwhile goes on. It’s only politics.

The secret of eloquence lies in a care for detail

A tip off from Tim Blair, there is an exquisite article at Quadrant by Clive James: Les Murray and the Purpose of Poetry. Read it all, but marvel at this first:

After Gough Whitlam personally instituted the idea of educating the working class—here I borrow the dearest historical belief of the unintelligent intelligentsia—there were suddenly more intellectuals than you could shake a stick at. Unfortunately, far from their inheriting the country’s traditional scepticism, there was almost no fad that they wouldn’t fall for. The result has been the near-ruination of Australian prose. There are always a few hold-outs, but when you look at the collected writings of the late Christopher Pearson, for example, the most startling impression is not of how he shines, but of how he shines almost alone, like a single candle in one of his beloved cathedrals.

Perhaps the tip-off lies in the fact that his posthumous collection of writings, A Better Class of Sunset, is not very carefully edited. It seems to have had several editors all working at once, and none of them to sufficient purpose: in which, perhaps, lies the trouble. The literary world works best when some of the editors could have been writers too, but preferred to guard a publication, giving it the care and energy that might have put their own name in a public light.

Just as the basis of ethics lies in manners, the secret of eloquence lies in a care for detail. The alternative is the ever-spreading swamp of the blog-trolls, in which the opinions of a frothing dolt are so important that no paragraph can last longer than a sentence. Or else he raves on forever without a break: either way, he has no sense whatever of nuanced argument. Nor can he pause to put in the capital letters, the commas and the apostrophes, not to mention the good humour, the sense of proportion and the common courtesy. Cram all that negligence into the frame of Facebook and you have mental cyanide in pellet form. I hate to say it, but of all the countries in the Anglosphere, it seems to me that Australia is the most likely to be the first victim of a web-world and social media coalition that annihilates the hard-won virtues of English prose. If you dread a culture in which every twit’s tweet counts, here it comes.

All this might sound like the carping of an old man on his way out, but I did find it remarkable, as I came back to Australia more and more often in the middle of my life, that the books of expository prose tailed off in quality from year to year. Not every woman writer will ever be able to write like Helen Garner, just as not every male politician will be able to write like Diamond Jim McClelland. But you would have expected the supply of stylists to go up, not down. Born and brought up at a time when such a poet-journalist as Elizabeth Riddell was still active in the Australian media, I never imagined that the female journalists of Australia could have listened to Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech and not laughed her from the stage.

And was there even a single red-blooded Aussie media man to greet President Obama’s remarks about Australia’s alleged neglect of the climate change threat to the Barrier Reef by telling him, in a single well-shaped paragraph, that the Reef was well looked after and that if he really thought he knew anything about it he was always welcome to take a paddle around a piece of it, barefoot and without a guide, or else, failing that, to bugger off? But no: scarcely a peep. The days when the Australian newspapers and periodicals had plenty of hard-nosed jobbing writers to deal not only with the bullshit manufactured at home, but with the incoming bullshit from abroad, seem long gone. By now, the next wave of literary journalists is looking pretty understaffed, half a dozen surfboard riders sitting out there on a gentle swell.

Permissible lying

From Diana West. The media has obviously taken up the same rules for itself.

Dear Glenn Kessler,

First of all, how come your “Fact Checker” column of 9/22 awarding Dr. Ben Carson “Four Pinnochios” for his statement regarding “taqiyya” is running for a second time? It first appeared last week, but there it is again in today’s paper, 9/27, on p. A5.

Oh well, I missed it the first time. It’s definitely worth revisiting.

Dr. Carson said the following: “`Taqiyya’ is a component of sharia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals.”

You then write: “In other words, he appeared to be saying that this tenet of Islam offered some kind of loophole that would allow the Muslim to lie about his or her religious beliefs to pursue other objectives. Is this the case?” (Emphasis added.)

For the record, your paraphrase is not what Carson said. He invoked “taqiyya” to describe a concept in sharia, or Islamic law, that, as he put it, “allows and even encourages [a Muslim] to lie to achieve [his] goals.”

I note that you have chosen to frame Dr. Carson’s very broad claim about sharia-approved lying by focusing on a literal definition of “taqiyya,” as if Carson were discussing only whether Muslims were specifically permitted to lie about “religious beliefs.”

You then go on to “fact-check” this concept of lying about religion in Islam.

Note that I put “fact-check” in quotation marks. This is because you did not, in fact, check the facts. You just contacted sharia-apologists and “taqiyya”-artists for comment.

As a reporter, you really ought to check the authoritative Islamic sources yourself, even if just for “balance.”

Such sources include Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. It is available on Amazon, which should please the boss. Even at $29.95, it is a bargain, and I cannot recommend it highly enough as a means of quick access to “sharia,” or Islamic law, as authorized by Sunni Islamic authorities, including certification by Al Azhar.

Turn to the detailed subject index of Reliance of the Traveller where you will find a section on “Lying.”

This “Lying” section includes, relevantly, a subsection called “reasons that permit.”

Before I tell you what it says under the heading “Permissable Lying” on p. r8.0, I will quote three men you selected to referee this crucial discussion about lying in Islam, which, thankfully, Dr. Carson has brought to mainstream-media-attention for the first time, incredibly, since 9/11.

I am calling them (A), (B) and (C).

(A) actually addresses Dr. Carson’s general statement about the permissibility of lying in Islam, declaring: “There is no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal. That is a complete invention.”

“Complete invention”? As we will see below, “Fact Checker” does not have enough PInnochios to reflect the mendacity of (A)’s statement.

Now, to the other “experts,” who discuss lying in Islam in terms of protecting a religious minority:

B) “It is a dispensation within some aspects of Shia law, which was developed out of the experience of a persecuted minority. … If a Shia is being persecuted, and someone holds a gun to your head asking, `Are you a Shia?’ you are allowed to say `no’ in order to save your life.”

C) “Taqiyya is dissimulation when one is being oppressed or tortured or having one’s views banned, a bit like Jesuit dispensation to lie under oath when your life is in danger.”

To recap, you, and, by extension, the Washington Post, are reporting that Islamically-legal lying to achieve goals is “a complete invention,” or narrowly approved in cases of religious persecution.

Now, to the authoritative Sunni Islamic law book, Reliance of the Traveller.

The sharia discourse on “Permissable Lying” opens by citing canonical “hadiths” (or traditions of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed) by Bukhari and Muslim that quote Mohammed as having said: “He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.”

The text continues, quoting Umm Kalthum, a daughter of Mohammed, who appears in Muslim, where she says:

“I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements and a man talking with his wife or she with him….”

War, settling disagreements, and talk between man and wife: That’s a whole lot of “permissable lying” right there.

“This,” Reliance of the Traveller continues, “is an explicit statement that lying is sometimes permissable for a given interest, scholars having established criteria defining what types of it are lawful.

“The best analysis,” the text continues, “is by Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali,” a famed theologian (d. 1111).

And Ghazali said:

“If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissable to lie if attaining the goal is permissable…and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.”

Now, back to your Source A. He claimed “there is no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal.”

No concept?


I just found exactly such a concept in the Al-Azhar-approved sharia law book, as derived from the “hadiths” of Bukhari and Muslim and explicated by Ghazali. And, more important, you can, too. Have a look for yourself. It will help in your preparations for the Washington Post correction that Dr. Carson greatly deserves.

The section on “Permissable Lying” in Reliance of the Traveller continues, offering additional detail. It underscores the fact-checkable fact that there exist within Islamic law different circumstances in which lying is permissable if not “obligatory.” ”

Meanwhile, I haven’t even mentioned the Islamic conception of “slander,” (completely, divergently at odds with our own), which serves as the Islamically legal means of outlawing free speech about Islam that is true but not complimentary.

So, to one side of the West-Islam divide, we have Thou Shalt Not Lie. Neat. Simple.

On the other side we have a body of Islamic law stipulating when exactly Thou Shalt Lie.

Dr. Carson was right again. I trust that Fact Checker is already preparing the necessary correction.

A comprehensive list of Abbott’s achievements

I suppose political virtue is in the eye of the beholder, but this list of Abbott’s accomplishments is provided as a list of the things he got wrong. The website deals with Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage. Here are the first seven and the last seven. The hundreds in between are just the same:

478. Breaks a promise to provide a stable and unified Government – 14 September 2015

477. Laughs at Pacific countries who’s existence is being threatened by climate change – 10 September 2015

476. Rejects recommendations to make banks pay for tax payer funded insurance – 4 September 2015

475. Wastes $55 million, including $15 million on relocating four refugees to Cambodia before the deal to resettle refugees from Nauru collapses – 30 August 2015

474. Oversees botched Border Force announcement that they would stopping people for visa checks in the Melbourne CBD – 28 August 2015

473. Splurges $10 million to rename Border Force – 26 August 2015

472. Cuts $10 million from a grant to support sufferers of an incurable disease – 26 August 2015 . . .

7. Breaks a promise to make no cuts to health on 17 December 2013 when they cut $150 million from hospitals and health services.

6. Breaks a promise to make no cuts to health. He made this promise at the National Press Club on 2 September 2013 and in writing on 5 September 2013 as part of their policy commitments. This promise was first broken on 27 November 2013 when they cut funding to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council

5. Breaks his election promise of no cuts to education by cutting funding for trade training centres in schools on 17 December 2013. He made this promise at the National Press Club on 2 September 2013 and in writing on 5 September 2013 as part of their policy commitments.

4. Breaks its NBN election promise of giving all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016 – 12 December 2013 This was the Coalition’s policy they took to the election first announced 9 April 2013.

3. Breaks his promise to support Gonski – 25 November 2013 and 13 May 2014. Fails to commit to future funding or to require States to match the Commonwealth funding commitment. See paragraph two from Christopher Pyne on 29 August 2013

2. Fails to “stop the boats” – 23 September 2013. This promise was repeated so many times I can’t count. Here’s Abbott’s 2013 campaign launch speech.

1. Does not spend his first week as Prime Minister with an Aboriginal community – 14 September 2013. This promise was made in front of indigenous elders and participants at the Garma Festival on 10 August 2013, this is a live recording.

Read it all. Fascinating.

[Found by notafan]

Senator David Leyonhjelm comments at Catallaxy

The following is a comment by Senator David Leyonhjelm at Catallaxy as part of the thread on Time for Last Drinks at the Wake.

#1829310, posted on October 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm (Edit)

Good post Sinc. I share your view on this.

The contest is now Turnbull versus Shorten. Most commenters here prefer Shorten, but that’s not what I hear elsewhere.

This was the tradeoff that had to be gauged, would more votes be won than lost by switching from Tony as PM to Malcolm. So far there is hardly anything in it, a switch of maybe one or two percentage points with the ABC and The Australian running as hard a pro-Turnbull campaign as it is possible to imagine. Come the election, or even before that, come an actual Turnbull decision that offends the left and we shall see what happens then. In the meantime, Malcolm is running to the left of Tony. This, therefore, is the program Malcolm has to achieve to improve on Abbott’s record, given Sinclair’s list:

– Repeal 18C
– Reduce marginal income tax rates
– Repeal the Renewable Energy Target and unwind Direct Action
– Dismantle the “opposition within”, the professional activists of the Human Rights Commission.
– Call a vote in the Parliament on SSM
– Make sound and sensible decisions on national defence and especially on procurement.

None are on the agenda. I will consider it a win if we merely just continue to stop the boats, but even there my hopes are not all that high.

But here is my question for you. At the last Presidential election in 2012, who did you support, Obama or Romney? If it was Obama, then I don’t care about a single thing you think about, not a single thing.

The lost continent of Europe

When it finally happens, they are not going to know what hit them. We are possibly the stupidest generation in history, with our affluence making the wealth generating machinery of our societies look effortless but also apparently dulling our minds. The Europeans are about to find out how different reality is from appearance when everything is running well. How it works is entirely invisible. The article, written by a Swede, comes with the explicit title, Sweden Close to Collapse. These are the dot-points of the introduction but read the whole article which will scare you, or at least it should. If we have the wit to understand what is going on we can learn from their mistakes and not make the same ones ourselves. And while this is about Sweden in particular, it applies to the whole of Western Europe. There is no reason this could not be us because there are plenty here just as “imprudent” as the Swedes.

. If the wave of migrants keeps coming, in 10-15 years, Swedes will be a minority in their own country. That there is, in fact, an exchange of populations going on, should be clear in any sober assessment.

. “The final consequence of… Sweden’s immigration policy is that the economy will collapse — because who is going to pay for it all?* And economic breakdowns, once they happen, always happen very fast.” — Lars Hedegaard.

. In the last two weeks, more than 1,000 “unaccompanied refugee children” have arrived from Germany via ferry; more than half of them have now vanished and are listed as missing.

. For the last few weeks, the central train station in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, has been overrun with migrants; the volunteers that for the first few days showed up with food, water and clothes now seem to have lost interest.

. It will not be long until the Swedes realize that the state will not look after them. The country that just 20 years ago was considered one of the safest and most affluent in the world, is now in danger of becoming a failed state.

* This notion of “who will pay for it all” is part of the failure of economic theory and our superficial way of understanding the underlying economic reality in terms of money. Of money, there is never a shortage. Of food, housing, services there is only enough if the saving of the past has allowed us to lay down the right amounts to meet the requirements of the present. It’s not paying for it that matters, but having the goods and services in existence that are there to be bought. The shortages that the rush of migrants have caused are already becoming manifest and now the fight will begin in earnest.