Energy illiteracy a subset of economic illiteracy

And it’s not just energy illiteracy, fewer and fewer any longer know much of anything about how products come into existence and then find their way to buyers. I’ve just had my first class of the semester which I always begin with a presentation which includes this:

In 1900 there were no cinemas in England. In 1914 there were more than 5000. What had to happen for those 5000 cinemas to come into existence?

Here is the wrong answer: cinemas came into existence because there was a demand for movies and more entertainment.

The video is from Canada via Small Dead Animals. And if like that you might like this.

The dumb terminals of the left

Got into an argument with someone on the left the other day about Donald Trump. So I asked what in particular that Trump is doing doesn’t he like? Just name anything at all, just tell me what it is and what it is you don’t like. Could not elicit a single statement of any kind about any issue. So I said, what do you think of the wall? Do you think that the United States should just let anyone enter the country without checking who they are or whether it might be to the advantage of Americans that these non-Americans be allowed to settle where they please and then live off the welfare state. So he said he was against walls. So I said, well what about the wall that separates Israel from Hamas in the Gaza? No, there should be no walls, he replied. Does that also include Egypt who has also put a wall between itself and Gaza? But you know nothing went any further.

And here is the thing. The terminology is a bit old fashioned, but it finally occurred to me that in discussing anything with anyone on the left, you are dealing with a dumb terminal. From Wikipedia:

A dumb terminal is a computer terminal that consists mostly of just a display monitor and a keyboard (and perhaps a mouse as well). It has no internal CPU (central processing unit), and thus has little or no processing power. Sep 2, 2005

The definition goes back to 2005 so far as computers go, but so far as people on the left it’s as modern as this morning. There is some central body of thought which everyone subscribes to without any independent personal contribution of their own. It’s not ignorance since there cannot be any doubt that as far as no walls in Gaza is concerned, the consequence would mean the immediate destruction of Israel. And there is no doubt an answer to what the left believes about the Gaza and the border but since he didn’t know what it was, he was damned if he was going to concede and inch. Independent thought and an ability to be responsive in an open discussion is impossible.

Blind, dumb and stupid; just attached to the left’s cpu for all answers to all political question. This is the great benefit of being on the left since one never ever has to think through any single issue on one’s own.

The non-existent evidence that Trump is a Russian mole

The article is titled, Trump Isn’t Sounding Like a Russian Mole and here are the telltale signs that might indicate he is.

Trump might for example acquiesce in a greater Russian presence and say in the Middle East. He might limit U.S. fracking, helping to prop up Putin’s oil price. He might seek to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles in ways that give Russia badly needed economic relief from an arms burden that daily pressures the country more, and that accepts a permanent parity between the US and Russian nuclear arsenals, leaving America perpetually hostage to a nuclear balance of terror with a much weaker Russia. He might slash military spending and procurement; rather than steadily building the gap between Russian and American military capabilities, he might slow down and allow the Russians and others to dream of catching up.

In other words, if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama’s. Will the New York Times and the Washington Post really have the brass to call Trump a traitor for pursuing a mix of policies which came right out of Obama’s playbook?

More to the point:

Obama’s chosen anti-Russia policy mix was as weak and hesitating as such policy can be. The sanctions were a way of pretending to ourselves that we had a Ukraine policy more than offering an actual path to forcing Russia to disgorge its gains. Trump’s policies of fracking and big military build up are more anti-Russian without sanctions than Obama ever thought was practical or wise. . . .

Trump’s actual foreign policy hardly suggests a president in thrall to the Kremlin, and excessive dovishness is unlikely to be the besetting sin of the Trump administration. The more the media locks itself into the narrative of Trump the appeaser, the harder its job will become when the real difficulties of the Trump presidency begin to take shape.

Which leads to this conclusion:

America needs an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press to give this president the skeptical and searching scrutiny that he needs. What we are getting instead is something much worse for the health of the republic: a blind instinctive rage that lashes out without wounding, that injures its own credibility more than its target, that discredits the press at just the moment where its contributions are most needed.

The left agenda in general and its media shills in particular are in the process of revealing just how hollow and shallow it all is. It can no longer be hidden, and with Trump turning out to be more sure footed than we ever had a right to hope, perhaps this really is a revolutionary moment in the history of the West.

You say ISIL, I say ISIS and we are not calling the whole thing off

He is getting things right, both large and small. And, as always, CNN can be expected to mis-report the news. Here is the title, Trump Pentagon names the enemy: It’s ISIS, not ISIL, and this is not what it’s really about.

ISIL has been vanquished — at least as an acronym in the administration of President Donald Trump.

The Pentagon has issued a directive that officials now use the more common term ISIS to refer to the terror group.

ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, was the preferred acronym of the Obama administration. Some senior State Department officials and military commanders in the field preferred to use the Arabic acronym Daesh, but ISIL appeared in all official documents and statements.

This is not a pot-ah-toe/pot-ay-toe moment. This has surprisingly genuine implications. CNN goes on with this:

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the military “views ISIS, ISIL and Daesh as interchangeable terms for the same thing.”

But he added: “ISIS is the term most known and understood by the American public, and it is what our leadership uses. This memo simply aligns our terminology.”

Here’s the deal. The IL stands for Iraq and the Levant. The latter IS in ISIS stands for Iraq and Syria. The first, therefore, claims to represent the entire Middle East. The second is only Iraq and Syria. The group itself prefers ISIL which is why, no doubt, Obama preferred it himself. The switch actually does make a difference in how America’s intentions are viewed where it really matters.

That they don’t get this right even when telling you the decision is part of the reason that Trump is skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

The Swedish model

One day the media will actually hit on a genuine scandal and we will never hear the end of it. They are trying as best they can and have gone through Russia hacked the election, then Mike Flynn, and now yesterday’s non-terrorist non-horror in Sweden. So far, not only have they come up with nothing they have tended to harden the Trump side of the political divide. The Swedish example is an interesting one since it is impossible not to know the problems its immigration and refugee programs have caused. But a loose word and the jackals of the press are there in pack numbers.

There is then this, going back to Mike Flynn which has led to this article, President Trump Has Been Far Too Nice To The Mainstream Media, in this instance in relation to the electronic eavesdropping on Trump’s National Security Advisor prior to his appointment.

Here’s the real story – the intelligence community under the Obama administration was obviously eavesdropping on Trump’s campaign in violation of practically every law ever written. Whether it was direct tapping of phones and emails, or illegally accessing the communications swooped up by the NSA in its nets, it’s clear that Obama’s people were spying on Obama’s political opponents. The transcript excerpts of Flynn’s phone call with the Russian diplomat leaked because it could be played off as targeting the Russian, though this was still an outrageous disclosure of American spying capabilities. What these criminals can’t do is release the communications between Americans that they possess because doing that confirms what we all know – that Obama’s people spied on his political opponents like his IRS persecuted them. The only question really is what did Obama know, and when did he know it – interestingly, on his way out the door, Obama made it easy to hide the source of the leaks by opening up access to the information across a bunch of agencies. There’s your story, a scandal that makes Watergate seem microscopic, and the mainstream media will not touch it because it would destroy the media’s political allies.

That is true, and everyone understands it perfectly well, but where are the media hounds when we have a story bigger than Watergate?

The true measure of each story’s significance is that the media – meaning the left – still get to decide what is and what is not news, what is and what is not a scandal, and it is still able to enforce what it decides on our daily conversations. And while the left never relents and never appears to learn, the right has its traitors who would do anything for a favourable mention on the news tonight.