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AN EXAMPLE OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

calvin-on-denialWhat the heck is “climate denial”? Is that even a thing?

I need to tell you a secret.  What TTP dubbed my “Liberal Head Exploding Cartoon of the Week” (HFR 05/10/17) was created as a cognitive dissonance trap.

I wanted to see if I could make an argument about the reliability of economic models and dupe irrational people into labeling me a climate denier. 

My hypothesis was that I could make a public argument about the reliability of economic models, and partisans on the climate debate would not be able to see the word economic on the page. Literally.

Sure enough, my experiment worked like a charm.  Here’s how.

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THE REAL DENIERS

real-deniersNo one knows what is going to happen 100 years from now — what problems human beings will face and what advances they’ll make.

Are you willing to double your electrical bill now — to European rates — to reduce global temperatures by two-tenths of 1 degree 100 years from now?

Are you aware that England has only been an island for about 9,000 years or so? Up until the end of the last ice age, our ancestors could walk from France — which they can, in theory, again do, thanks to the Chunnel.  Back then, the English Channel was a river, with the Thames in England, the Seine in France, and the Rhine in Germany its tributaries.

A hundred years ago, air conditioning was almost non-existent. Now we have huge, rich cities such as Singapore, Panama City and even Miami, thriving in the tropics, because air conditioning has made them very livable all year around.

A hundred years ago, antibiotics had not been invented, nor had the semiconductor, let alone the smartphone and iPad.

At the present, we do not know how to cost-effectively reduce many carbon-dioxide emissions, but we do know how to adapt to slowly rising sea levels and slightly warmer temperatures. Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age, with no evidence that this rate of rise has increased during the past half-century — and mankind has adapted just fine.

Despite rising sea levels, the island of Manhattan has grown in size over the last four centuries — because it makes economic sense to create landfills.

It is odd that many in the media and “public intellectuals” call people “climate deniers” who merely want to have a civil discussion about the rate of climate change and how much is caused by man — while, at the same time, being in deep denial about the real costs, particularly to the poor, of many of their proposed solutions.

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COUNTRIES THAT DON’T EXIST UPDATE

dont-exist-updateDear Fellow TTPers --  Are you ready to have a mind-blowing lot of fun and have the most intense learning experience at the same time?  In fascinatingly unknown parts of Europe with incredible history, natural beauty, and unique cultures?

Then please consider joining me and your fellow rational conservatives on The Countries That Don’t ExistI can only take four more of you with me.  Click on the link, and if you’re intrigued, then email me at jack@tothepointnews.com and I’ll send you the full details.

Life is short – the time for a great adventure is now.  Let’s have that adventure together.  Thanks…  Jack

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HALF-FULL REPORT 06/02/17

stupor-mundorum

Stupor Mundorum

Stupor Mundi.  This is the week Western Civilization has a new Stupor Mundi.

The original was the most extraordinary man of the Middle Ages, so accomplished in so many ways his contemporaries called him Stupor Mundi, Latin for the Wonder of the World, since his brilliance and audacity left them in a state of stupefaction.

That would be Frederick II Hohenstaufen (1194-1250), Holy Roman Emperor, King of Italy, King of Germany, King of Burgundy, King of Sicily – and King of Jerusalem, having won the Sixth Crusade without a single battle or casualty, crowned Christian King in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on March 18, 1229 with the blessing of the Moslem Sultan standing at his side who had just ceded Jerusalem to him.

Revered by Christians everywhere, he was hated by the Popes who excommunicated him four times, to which his reaction was a shrug.

What we are witnessing is the emergence of a new Stupor Mundi in the process of becoming the most extraordinary man of our day.

This has been a fabulous week, with so much to enjoy.  Let’s get started!

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HOLY TOLEDO!

king-alfonso-viToledo, Spain.   As you drive up the hill upon which this ancient city sits, at the city’s entrance you are greeted by this statue.  It is of King Alfonso VI of León and Castile (1040-1109) holding his sword as the Christian cross symbolizing his liberating Toledo from Moslem rule.

What you are about to read is revelatory history.  It starts 2,500 years ago, involves the heroically epic struggle of Christians for their freedom from Islam – lasting centuries – and ends with a shocking banner on the City Hall of Madrid hanging there today.

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TRUMP DELIVERS

trump-deliversUnder promise and over deliver.

As a businessman, Trump knows that those are the rules. And as president that’s just what he did yesterday (6/01) in his inspirational speech about pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.

It was inspirational because it articulated better than any world leader has ever done before why environmentalism is in fact such a harmful creed.

Rather than get bogged down in the “science” of climate change — an elephant trap so arranged by climate alarmists to make anyone who disagrees with them look ignorant or “anti-science” — he cut to the chase and talked about the important stuff that hardly ever gets mentioned by all the other politicians, for some reason: the fact that the climate change industry is killing jobs.

This argument ought to be low hanging fruit to any half-way intelligent politician: it’s such an obvious way of connecting with the workers.

Yet Trump is the only one who has ever said it. And hearing him say it was a reminder of why it was that he won the presidential election. He connects with his people in a way that so many politicians just don’t.

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HOW CAN SOME CONSERVATIVES STILL BE NEVER-TRUMPERS?

destroy-the-presidentWhen people you know well, admire, and who share your values do something you strongly oppose, you have two options:

1) Cease admiring them or 2) try to understand them and change their minds.

My choice is option two. But to try to change their minds, I must first try to understand their thinking.

I have concluded that there are a few reasons that explain conservatives who were Never-Trumpers during the election, and who remain anti-Trump today.

The first and, by far, the greatest reason is this: They do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake.

While they strongly differ with the left, they do not regard the left-right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do.

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THE HUNGER BONDS

no-comidaInvesting often creates moral dilemmas over goals: Should we aim to do well or to do good? Is it appropriate to invest in tobacco companies? Or in companies that sell guns to drug gangs?

The returns of the JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI+) are heavily influenced by what happens in Venezuela.

The reason is simple: while Venezuela represents only about 5% of the index, it accounts for about 20% of its yield -- because the yield on Venezuelan debt is about five times larger than that of other countries in the index, a reflection of the huge risk premium that Venezuela faces.

As has been widely reported in the media, Venezuela is experiencing one of the most calamitous economic collapses ever, accompanied by massive doses of political repression and human-rights violations.

So investing in the EMBI+ means that you rejoice when Wall Street analysts inform you that the country is literally starving its people in order to avoid restructuring your bonds. It is exactly the same with Goldman Sachs.

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THE LOOMING TRAGEDY OF AN ISLAMIST INDONESIA

islamist-indonesiaThe 15-year-old school girl’s eyes filled with tears as she put down her mobile phone. Her best friend at school, the friend she did everything together with, had just called her.

“We can no longer be friends,” she had said. “Allah does not allow me to be friends with people like you.”

This conversation took place in a city in Indonesia with a reputation for tolerance. The two girls were students at a high school described as “the most tolerant” in the city. The caller who ended the friendship is a Muslim, the devastated recipient of the call a Christian.

An incredible tragedy is unfolding in the world’s largest Muslim country, where its democratic government and culture of tolerance is being destroyed by fanatic Islamists.  Can they be stopped in time?  And is there anyone in Indonesia with the courage to do so?

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