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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Debate transcript

I listened to the Presidential debate and here are my notes.  However, sometimes a deaf guy doesn’t hear just right, so you have to kinda guess what is being said in between—if you know what I mean.


Hillary: His answers are all racist and misogynist!

Lefter Holt:  Just give us a few minutes to do a sound check and then we will begin the debate.

Trump:  This is not really Hillary! She got sick and this is just a body double!

Bill (in audience): Man, I wish.

Obama (in audience): No mother should have to fear for her black son’s life every time he robs a convenience store.

Holt: Okay, I think we are ready to go.  Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the first Presidential debate.  While everyone has opinions on our two candidates, we are still going to ask pedestrian questions so you can hear what they have to say.  What?  I am being informed that a man has been located who lives up a canyon in Utah who has no opinion about Clinton or Trump?  So, having fact-checked myself, let us begin. First question is for Mrs. Clinton.  Is it true that you and President Obama had secret pen names while communicating on email? 

Hillary: Well, yes, but no one would ever guess the one I chose.

Bill (in audience):  She used Tammy Wynette.  You know, “Stand By Your Man”

Hill: Hush! Now my computer has been acting funny lately.  It pops up messages that are odd.

Holt:  How so?

Hillary: Well, I told Cheryl Mills that I could see Russia from my computer.  And it popped up a message, “We can see Hillary from Russia.”  As President, I vow to wipe out Russian cyber terrorism.

Bill: Hey, honey, your ipad is now reading, “You mean, like with a cloth?—Vlad”

Hillary:  Bill, this is my debate!  I vow to protect America from Russian cyber terrorism.

Holt: And how will you do that?             Hillary:  Along with Obamacare, each person in America will be required to purchase a hammer and smash their smart phone.

Trump: First jobs she ever created.

Hillary: Not so!  If we let in 110,000 Syrian refugees, that is creating jobs for policemen all over America!

Trump: She doesn’t have enough stamina to be President.

Hillary:  When Donald can spend 11 hours lying to Congress, he can talk to me about stamina.  Do you know how hard it is to keep track of your story after 11 hours?

Holt: Let’s move on.  Mr. Trump, your slogan is “Make America Great Again.”  How do you defend that against those who say this is borderline racist?

Trump: It wasn’t my first choice.  I wanted to use, “It’s the economy, Stupid”

Obama (in audience): That’s plagiarism!

Trump: Right.  I would have been happy with, “It’s Islam, Stupid.” 

Holt: And how do you defend theories about your health?

Trump:  My health?  Don’t you mean hers?  She’s shovel ready.

Holt:  No some have noted that she got pneumonia and you said nothing.  Everyone has been saying, “Is Donald okay?”

Trump: I’m healthy as a  horse. I’m healthier than the founding fathers!

Priebus (in audience):  True.  We Republicans developed a way to bring former Presidents back from the dead.  One guy told us he could not tell a lie.  Poor guy, our campaign consultants told him don’t bother to run.  He was so depressed we had to send him back to his own century. 

Trump: I apologize.  Hillary has created jobs.  She did create a lot of FBI jobs to investigate her.

Holt:  Will you support Hillary if she is elected President?

Trump:  If she is elected, I am moving to Benghazi.  It is the only place she won’t bother me.

Gary Johnson (in audience):  Benghazi?

Priebus: It’s okay.  Rick Perry also forgets.  Of course he knew 2 out of 3.

Gary Johnson: Yeah, but I know how to deal with Russia.  Hillary gave them the RESET button and they reset her password.

Hillary: I beg your pardon.  I happen to have gotten an email from a Nigerian prince and he sent ME 20 million dollars.  Can any of the rest of you match that?

Obama:  I have just signed an executive order to replace “Looters” with “undocumented shoppers”

Hillary: If I am elected President, I will work with Black Lives Matter to resolve the riots peacefully.  I have already begun negotiations.

Holt:  You have?

Hillary: Yes, they say they demand civil rights and equal treatment under the law.  However, they would settle for several high definition televisions, a couple pairs of sneakers, and a few cases of beer.

Holt: Well, that concludes our debate for tonight.  Next week we continue with the question, “If government could fix everything, wouldn’t it be fixed by now?”

Obama: I think you should discuss following ISIS to the gates of hell, like I promised to do.

Trump: How you going to do that in a golf cart?


Well, there you have my notes.  Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Trump's onto something

From time to time, the field of economics is filled with arguments without definite conclusion.  No one seems to explain the current malaise.  Now is one of those eras with low interest, pitiful growth and low productivity gains. What gives?

            Clinton economist, Larry Summers, postulates that there is no international demand for borrowing.  Our new digital technologies aren’t supporting productivity gains like the old discoveries did—cars, steam, electricity, jet planes, computers.  Therefore we must stimulate, stimulate, stimulate!  Dems love this oldie melody. They groove when Janet Yellin sings and interest goes lower and Businesses (Wall Street) enjoys low rates. Big government spending! Fed stimulus by lowering interest rates and buying back bonds (QE’s)!  Alas, all the palliative stimuli have led us to this almost non-existent interest rate and still no growth.  Zero interest (Or even negative interest) destroys the economy.  Seniors with savings have no earnings. When citizens with savings see no return on their money, they stop depositing and put it in their safe—or gold.  Then banks who turn savings into loans have no money to lend to businesses. 

            And the Summer’s “secular stagnation” explanation now takes another arrow.  A study of all cycles since the 1930s by San Diego UCal, James Hamilton, et. al.shows that lowered short term rates (that is what the Fed does when it stimulates) hardly helps.  Back in 1936 when John Maynard Keynes came up with his notion that people were too saving and thus the Fed should stimulate, it was all the politicians of the time wanted to hear.  Today, we realize that choking tariffs and wasteful government spending actually prolonged the Depression.  But the pols sold us the snakeoil, nonetheless. 

            So what gives?  Here’s a rundown on causes for low interest rates. 1.  Demographics—much of the rich world is getting older.  But the average working lifetime doesn’t change much. Social Security is insolvent. So people have to save like crazy to have enough.  This gives an overabundance of savings chasing too little gain.  2. China.  China and the eastern tigers have no social security.  When Chinese get old the big extended family is supposed to take care.  But now with one-child policy, that’s a faint insurance.  So people save 40% of income—so much it is splashing over onto our shores.  3. Income inequality results from things like QE which benefit the rich, hence creating a glut of savings at the upper end. 4. Fear.  People saw what happened to the housing boom and the crash of 2007-2008.  So they pile up savings for a rainy day. 

            Democrats/progressives/fascists are stumped because they only accept big government interference.  Establishment R’s think that the high tech world creates jobs for thinkers while lower level jobs are going away.  But this is not what’s happening.  The thinking jobs are expanding at the upper end but so are servant jobs for housekeepers and landscapers for the rich.  The middle is losing.  And since R’s appeal to the middle, the Trump line is growing with the middle’s anger.  Trump proposes we fix immigration, education, and kill harmful regulations.  He wants lower taxes and rule of law.  (Imprimus, Sept. 2016, Frank Buckley) Given that public schools produce students in the lower half of OECD countries, few trust governments any more, immigrants are uneducated and do little to help our economy in the aggregate, his prescriptions seem to fit the malaise. 

            But will he be able to close the sale? We’ll know more on Nov. 9. It takes someone who can persuade.   I recall a certain candidate with dubious background in Hollywood who came on the scene in the 70’s.  What no one seemed to notice was that he had a college degree in economics from a small unimportant school in Illinois.  But Reagan noticed the  landmark research of Arthur Laffer, who pointed out that when Scandinavian countries taxed at a lower rate, they actually collected more revenue. Government was taxing so heavily that people were hiding income. “Get the government off the people’s backs” was Reagan’s cure.  And so Ronald “Ray gun”, the Cowboy, the Bedtime for Bonzo guy stunned the world by rescuing a country with 1.5% growth and making it grow at 4.5% for a decade.

People are not stupid.  They sense problems and even when powerless to change a situation, can recognize a solution readily.  With 73% of Americans thinking we are on the wrong track today, whoever comes forward with such a resonating solution will surely bring a lot of change.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


The first Clinton-Trump debate has come and gone.  Clinton showed she could be aggressive.  Trump showed he is serious and controlled.  But what really gagged me was Hillary’s constant broadcasting of “Donald said this!  Donald said that!” and much of it was exaggerated.  This is like gossiping to your girlfriends, reciting a litany of faults and character assassinations.  The weird thing was that Trump was standing right there.  He can speak for himself.  If he’s so bad it will show.  The weirdest segment was when Hill began reciting evil intents that Trump might have for not publicizing his tax returns.  She had 6 or 8 conspiracy theories.  Strange.  If he’s in a corner, let him speak.  You don’t have to exaggerate to your girlfriends. 

            Debates are supposed to be about your policy won’t work and mine will, your ideas are a disaster and mine are good.  I’ve never heard a debater go on like she did.  By acting this way, Clinton does nothing to showcase her leadership.  What’s her vision for the country?  What route does she choose and how can she prove that it is the correct one?  Is she a strategic thinker who can devise a path from point A to point Z?  Why should I vote for her?  Instead it was the constant screed of character assassination.  She was polemical and didactic in the extreme. 

            A few times in a debate a clever logician and word-spinner can come back with a quip that everyone remembers.  That seemed to be Clinton’s goal.  But it was as if her comments were scripted rather than witty.  She had one that I couldn’t follow logically when she said, “I think Donald is accusing me of preparing for this debate.  And you know what else I’m prepared for?  The Presidency of the United States!”  A great line but it was shoehorned into talk about other things.  They have replayed it several times and it doesn’t fit their discussion. I guess she just wanted to deliver it.

            Frank Luntz and his R-I-D tracking of the dialog showed that I’s and R’s were tracking Trump highly.  In only a couple cases, such as when Hill got under his skin about the Iraq war support, did they favor her.  I’s gave Trump an A and Clinton a D, same as R’s did.  That means for the most part, Trump just needs to keep it up.  Hill, though disposing of concerns about her health, choked on her gossipy-sounding screed.   

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tony the microbiologist

Tony grew up a poor Dutch boy from Delft.  His dad was a basket weaver and died when Tony was 5.  His mom remarried a painter but he died when Tony was 10.  Tony barely got time for school, but became a bookkeeper’s apprentice in a drapery shop. Still, he learned English and math and was clever. He taught himself to read English.  Drapers in 1650 did menial hand work and like taylors and sail makers were poorly paid.  In 1654, the resourceful Tony opened his own shop.  The people who put drapes in their homes were big shots—barons and wealthy merchants—and their wives were very finicky about the draperies.  The best fabrics were needed and for this, drapers carried magnifying glasses to examine the threads of the cloths at 2 or 3X magnification.  That’s what Tony wanted badly.  While doing a job in London in 1668, he came across a book Micrographica by Robert Hooke.  Hooke used a compound microscope of two lenses that was terrifically expensive, to enlarge 20X.  Tony was fascinated.  Here were pictures of legs of fleas covered with hair, the chambers of cork, and wool fibers.  The book also included a diagram and plans for the compound microscope.  But the price was way out of Tony’s league.  Glass was a precious commodity.  Lenses were taxed heavily and produced by the guild, an early form of labor union which closely guarded its secrets.

Still, the persistent Tony found a way to experiment with glass.  He found that a glass rod that is heated could be drawn out into a thin whisker, broken in two and then the end of the whisker, reheated until it forms a glass bead droplet on the end.  Tony noted that these almost perfect glass spheres could magnify greatly and so he devised a holder for the sphere that had pinholes for observation and a screw-and-pin that held a sample of something near it.  It was crude but workable. To test the result, he looked at the same things that Hooke had.  Results confirmed.  Tony showed his cheapy magnifier to his friend, Dr. Reinier de Graaf. Amazingly he had achieved 200X magnification. The tiny glass spheres were far more uniform in curvature than ground lenses.  By pinholing them, he reduced aberration from the sides.   When a 1673 paper from the Royal Society of London bragged about microscopic work by another author, de Graaf wrote the Society a letter, “a most ingenious person here named Antonie Leeuwenhoek has devised microscopes which far surpass those which we have hitherto seen.” Another Dutch scientist confirmed the draper’s work.  In 1674, Tony was crossing a lake in a boat and asked the locals why the water was green in some places and almost milky in others.  They claimed it was the dew.  That made the BS buzzer in Tony’s head go off, and he took a sample of the water home and put it under his best microscope of perhaps 500X.  To his amazement he saw “little creatures” darting about with flagellated tails and cilia waves on their bodies. This was the first observation of bacteria in the world. The microbes he was seeing, he described to his friend, an artist who dutifully drew pictures. Leeuwenhoek wrote the first of 275 letters to the Royal Society.  In the next 50 years he never published a proper scientific paper. 

Better times came to Tony.  He was appointed to an accountant position in city government, then to a lucrative post as surveyer. He lived until 90, having become the Father of Microbiology.  He was visited by royalty and kings—and not for drapes. In 1686 he was knighted for his microscopic work.  But I wonder what would have happened if he’d not found a way around the regulation, guilds and taxation of glass lenses with his own glass sphere making?  What if he’d not made the most of his education to take that job in London? He was 40 years old when he made his first microscope—a typical lifespan for the era. What if government officials had put his work to a halt by noting that he competed without degree or license. 

 The Economist notes that America’s economy needs lower taxes, less regulations, and better education these days.  If even the Europeans can see this problem amid 1.4% growth and an education system that ranks 30th out of 40 OECD countries, why don’t we?      

Faith, part III--Americas

For several centuries, Roman Catholic was the only legal religion in Latin America.  Mass attendance was low (10%) and only about 20% of the people participated in church life at any time. Today 51% attend weekly and 79% say religion is important to them.  What happened?  Protestantism was gradulally allowed, first through British and American merchant communities.  About one in four Christians is Protestant today. In the 50s, as Protestants began to make inroads, the Catholic church judged it as an appeal to the material deprivations of the poor.  As an antidote they coined Liberation Theology which was thinly veiled Marxism.  But it never caught on with peasants, in fact backfired and Protestantism grew more, especially Pentecostalism. The Catholic Charismatic Movement did however begin to grow enormously.  Today, attendance in Catholic seminaries has grown to 20,000 where it was 4000 in 1960. It has been most vibrant in countries like Guatemala where the Catholic-Protestant split is about 50-50.  But it comes at a price of polarization and distrust between the two groups as well as anti-semitism. 

            In USA, 78% of the people claim affiliation with Christianity, 2% are Jewish, 4% other, and 12% are unaffiliated.46% attend weekly and 66% say religion is important in life. 82% told Gallup they were “sometimes very conscious of God’s presence.” 44% said they felt called by God to do something. Yet many have concluded that Christianity is dying and in decline.  The answer to this is two-fold.  First, Millenials are attending poorly (about 1/3) which actually matches attendance of their parents when young.  Second, many more are unaffiliated with a particular church.  These “nones” have grown from 8 to 22% since 1990—but what is meant is “no actual membership”.  A third reason often cited, “Young people are more liberal about sex,” has been shown to be meaningless in numbers. What does seem to be measurable is the decline in mainline Protestants.  Many of these bodies have lost half or three-quarters of membership.  Conservative traditional denominations and Catholics have held their own while Pentecostals, and LDS have soared.  But most of all, the conservative, evangelical Non-denominational churches have come out of nowhere to be a major player.  Why have many left their denomination for a more conservative church?  It is often traced to the secularization among intellectuals in seminary and clergy.  Similarly, Judaism has gone through a season of decline in numbers and liberalism, but in the last 20 years has seen a resurgence amid increased observance of traditions.  All of this points to American faith, not in decline but holding at least as many adherents as in previous generations.   

Friday, September 9, 2016

Faith increasing, part II, Africa and Asia

Africa divides into two spheres of faith—Muslim north and sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest faith measures of any continent.  71% attend weekly and 92% think religion is important part of their lives.  Although Europe had visited Africa for years, they could not tolerate the malaria until quinine was discovered about 1870.  So all the slave, cocoa and rubber trade was iinstigated by Africans who are somewhat tolerant of malaria.  Then 1870-1914, Europeans took over colonially and brought French Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Dutch Calvinism.  Other Christian groups got a foothold.  Ethiopia invited Lutherans in. Methodists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians came too as did Social Gospel groups. But it was to little effect. Only conservative denominations had limited success. Then came a strange twist.  Converted Africans became schooled in the Bible and noted that things like slavery, polygamy, and witchcraft were indeed spoken about (Europeans demanded they spurn such things.) Christianity grew from the grassroots.  The Bible was translated into 650 languages and today there are 11,500 indigenous African denominations.  Most are very conservative, Bible based, Pentecostal.   Most Africans believe in witchcraft and oppose it (Uganda and Burundi excepted).  The struggle with native animistic religion has been titanic.  Slavery is cast in a new light by Christianity and many slaves are still kept but as family members to some degree.  Polygamy still exists, but the more Christian a nation, the less polygamous.  The improved status of women has also been a big spur to church growth.  Equal rights and the ability to hold any job is approved by 83-90% of Christians. There is also a titanic struggle with Islam.  The nations that border the Sahara on the south are 50-75% Muslim. And Christianity seems to slowly be making inroads into Muslim areas.  Sunday worship is nothing like Europe or America. Dancing, testifying, shouting, breaking into tongues and African music give the sense of a revival meeting.

            Asian religiousness is also growing with the exception of Buddhism.  Chinese and Japanese claim they aren’t religious because they consider Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism to be philosophies with no membership. Shinto is the Japanese tradition but only 4% of Japanese consider themselves religious, i.e. churched.  The main barrier to Christian growth is the intense Japanese nationalism.  But 88% maintain a Buddhist altar in their home and nearly all have a Shinto home shrine.  Praying to departed family members, visiting graves, good luck charms and other practices ordinarily deemed religious are practiced by nearly everyone.  But there are quirks.  There is no connection between societal morality and religion in Japan.

            Christianity is making headway into Korea and China. (no Gallup survey for China)  China has gone from 1 million Christians to 100 million with no western missionaries under communism. It’s an amazing thing, because the government strongly advises atheism. We still don’t know absolute numbers because people are “coming out”. Buddhists seems to also be coming out.   S. Korea is 30% Christian. Why has it grown so rapidly.  Many Orientals convert to Christianity in graduate school in America. A survey found that 62% of young people in China are “interested in Christianity”. And just as Muslim faith is most prevalent among the educated, Christianity is most prevalent amnong educated orientals. This refutes the theory that religion appeals to the poor because of deprivation—Marx’s opiate of the poor people.  It may be that a new theory is needed.  That it is not thwarted material desires but thwarted spiritual desires that drive this trend. The people of privilege ask questions like, “Does life have meaning?” “Does virtue exist?” “Is death the end?” There may also be a cultural incongruity reason since these societies are rapidly changing in the face of old beliefs.  Or a hunger for morality that is not tied to the traditional faiths of the east.

            Contrary to industrial development, Hinduism didn’t die out in India.  Instead it revived. 67% of Indians worship weekly and 85% claim importance of personal faith. Today 80% of Indians claim Hinduism.  Pilgrimages have exploded in number.  In 1986 1.3M visited Vaishno Devi Shrine in Kashmir.  2012 had 10M.  Kimbh Mela bathing in the Ganges has doubled since 2001. There is a huge boom in sacred building.  Sikhism and Jainism have also grown. And again, this is most reflected in the upper classes.  Hindu religion is a one-god pantheon with a strong emphasis on sin, that is, religion is closely linked to morality. A major problem of faith in India is the separatism brought about by Hindu-Muslim clashes which have spread to persecutions of Christians and Sikhs.

            So in Asia and Africa, again the answer is that a huge religious revival is taking place and it has widest appeal to the educated and wealthy classes.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Faith increasing throughout World, Part I

You often hear that churches are emptying and faith is falling on hard times.  It has been attributed to urbanization, modernism, and increased secularization/organized religion burnout.  That’s not quite a fair picture.  Gallup polling has now run an in-depth interviewing of 1000-10,000 people in almost every country of the world (exceptions like N. Korea!).  The basic finding is that the world is grasping for more, not less faith, though it sometimes takes the form of odd spirituality.  Christianity is not losing to Islam.  Atheism remains an exception.  Results of Gallup and several other surveys or looked at by Rodney Stark in The Triumph of Faith, published a year ago.

            How Gallup approached their interviews was to ask more than “are you a member?”.  They asked if the respondent belonged to an organized religious group, have they attended some part of that organization this past week, is God directly involved in things that happen, is religion an important part of their life?  Some astounding things resulted. 

Then Stark looks at results from the historic record and compares with other findings such as the Pew surveys which are simpler. 

            Europe (45% say religion is important part of my life, 31% say attended this week) the original home of Christianity’s explosion, shows that modernity is not part of the reason for less faith.  Per Capita GDP and Human Development index anti-correlates with church attendance and but correlates with prayer activity.  In other words, the wealthier parts of Europe don’t go to church as much, but pray more. Stark points out that reports of a decline in attendance in the 19th century have been shown to be false and actual declines took place after 1960.  But replacing this is unchurched forms of religious expression.  This fits an old tradition.  When Europe went savage over religious wars from 1520-1648, people went underground in the Pietist movement.  In fact the great majority of people seldom attended in Europe.  In Medieval times only 10% attendance was considered good.  Bishops in the 1500s wrote that far more people were fishing than praying.  Moreover peasant behavior was atrocious in church.  Dogs, drunkenness, card-playing, loud talk was common during the service. Many churches had zero attendance on Sunday, so the priest could save his sermon.  Elsewhere people left after mass. This continued in the Protestant era. 
             What Gallup found stunning, was the belief among modern Europeans in Unconventional Supernatural beliefs—fortune tellers,fairies and trolls, astrology,a nd lucky charms. (30-40% Western Europe and 40-70% Eastern Europe)  So much for the modernism theory of church demise.  And these beliefs are most prevalent in countries with low church attendance like Sweden. As Will Durant observed, "Religions are born and may die, but superstition is immortal. Only the fortunate can take life without mythology."  Among urban Europeans, church attendance is higher so the idea of urban agnosticism is a falsehood.  Why the generally low attendance?  Stark says it has to do with a long history of lazy, obstructionist state churches that won’t allow competiton from other denominations, yet provide little inspiration.  States block other denominations with all sorts of restraints.  There has not been a religious revival in Europe since the Reformation.  And if you'll remember, the Thirty Years War so devastated Europe that people became cynical of Christianity everafter. USA contrasts in having numerous revivals and religious movements and competition among groups.  Another interesting fact—anti-semitism is strong (except in Sweden, Netherlands and UK) at 33% of population.  There is also a very strong correlation in fertility rate and church attendance (2.74 children from women with weekly attendance vs. 1.79, never attend).  What’s interesting about this, is that in about 4 generations, religious Christians and Muslims will outnumber those of little religiousness.  

            Muslims may never have been as religious as they are today.  90% say religion is important and 58% attend weekly.  And it thrives among the well-educated and affluent. It appears to be a reaction to modernization and urban life.  Culture in backwards areas was often more tolerant of sin and rarely spoke of jihad half a century ago.  The desire for governments aligned with Sharia (Islamic law that punishes blasphemies and those that leave the faith with death) is very  universal (70%).  So is anti-Semitism and hatred of other faiths.  This religious revival is reflected in pilgrims to Mecca (Hajj). In the 1950s Hajj was about 100,000.  In 2012 it topped 3 million.  Turkey and other Middle Eastern states seem to have experimented in Western ways and rejected them.  This can be understood as a disgust that Muslim nations are weak and therefore, the fear that Muslims have not been faithful enough to Allah.  The West is resented. A good indicator of religiousness among Muslims is the difficult belief that all go to hell upon death.  Belief in hell is from 91% to 100% across the Mideast whereas it was 50-70% in the 50s.  Asked, “When science and religion conflict, is religion always right?” has agreement above 84% in all countries except Lebanon and Turkey.  Religious intolerance is considered a virtue (compared with the 17th century when more Christian eastern Europeans preferred living under Turks than Austrians, Italians, or Poles.).  And this is reflected in the flight of Christians and Jews from Muslim countries.  Egypt was 18% Christian in 1975 and is 5% today.  Lebanon was 67%; 37%, today.  Turkey was 0.6%; 0.2%, today. Jordan 5%; 1.7%, today.  Libya and Algeria, once home to hundreds of thousands of Jews have exactly none today. 63% of Muslims believe the Holocaust was a myth.  Veil wearing, supported by over 70%, is virtually as high among women as men.  Honor killing is endorsed by a high of 60% in Iraq and a low of 11% in Morocco (Egypt and Pakistan are in the middle at 40%).  Yet this intensification of Islam is not a regression into a pious past.  Whatever else it may be, it is “modern” Islam.

            More on faith in Asia, Africa, and the Americas in next two parts.