May 2017

Making America Rich Again

In April, real median household income reached $59,361, according to the latest report from Sentier Research. That's up 2% since January, and is as high as it's been since February 2002. Expressed as an index, median household income was 100.9 in April, which is the first time this index has topped 100 since December 2008.

By comparison, this index was also lower when Obama left office than when he came in — it stood at 99.2 in January 2009, and was 98.9 in January 2017. It was just 1.7% higher than when the recession ended in June 2009. Last year, incomes barely budged, Sentier data show.

Another way to look at it: median income has climbed faster in President Trump's first three months in office than it did during 7-1/2 years of Obama's economic "recovery."

The Power of Fracking

Sophisticated American and Canadian energy industries have given the Free World an economic boost and a powerful diplomatic weapon.

The North American "fracking" revolution -- hydraulic fracturing to tap vast reservoirs of "tight" natural gas and oil -- has altered the world's strategic calculus.

U.S. and Canadian firms began experimenting with advanced oil and gas recovery techniques well before the "shale oil boom" made headlines. However, the development of fields in North Dakota and Texas helped develop techniques, technology and expertise. Fracking has opened previously untapped reservoirs. Frackers use improved drilling and production techniques to exploit existing fields. Information technology helps energy companies identify new oil and gas reservoirs and reduce the risks of "wildcat" oil and gas exploration.

Today, the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil imports. Daily U.S. imports have declined, from around ten million barrels to seven million. The U.S. is now exporting energy to select markets. This is why the Trump Administration's proposed sale of half of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve is timely. The reserve has around 700 million barrels.

The economic boon is obvious. So is the diplomatic clout.

Precisely when the U.S. and Canada supplanted OPEC as the world's oil price pacesetters is up for debate, but November 2016 to April 2017 is the time frame.

Now OPEC is struggling. Since the end of April, Saudi Arabia has called for the extension of OPEC's November 2016 oil production quotas. That deal was supposed to curb an oil supply glut by taking 1.2 million barrels a day off the market.


Let's Don't Worry About Facts

There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion


Diverse figures and outlets agree that the nexus of “possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign” does not include any evidence of collusion. Maxine Waters (D-CA) concedes there is no proof of collusion as does Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined by Trump nemesis Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Fox political analyst, Brit Hume, on Sunday’s #MediaBuzz stated that he has never seen a charge get so far out in front of the available evidence over the course of his long career. Matt Taibbi, a left-wing columnist for Rolling Stone who calls Trump the “crazy clown President," points out that “despite almost daily leaks by anonymous sources, we do not know whether it is about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state.”

(But the media will not allow facts to get in the way of the foaming at the mouth Trump hatred)

Freaking Cowards

As Europe and Progressives are in denial about the types of thugs they face, academia caves in to faculty thugs and cancel a talk by James Watson

Work

No blogging today. I am reading copyediting a novel that will be sent to a client. The company wanted a Western.  May take the whole day. 

And if you like to check out a good novel already published try At Play in the Seas of the Lord. It's a action/adventure treasure hunting tale which also explains where there is evil in the world.

The Speech In Saudi Arabia

Again, we’ll see.  Trump, like Obama before, had lots of emollient things to say about Islam. Trump also said that “this is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.  This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people all in the name of religion.”

 I hope that is true. Is it?  The true answer, I suspect, is both yes and no. Yes, it is is often true “on the ground,” in actual practice—except when it isn’t.  I think my friend Andrew McCarthy is right when he observes in The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America that ultimately the gravest danger posed by Islam to the West is not terrorism but the “stealth jihad” which endeavors to spread sharia, i.e., Islamic law, by infiltrating and corrupting democratic institutions. It’s a sterling trick of using and abusing democratic freedoms in order, ultimately, to abolish them. Day one: “You must allow the hijab in the name of religious freedom!” Day two: “You must forbid pork products because they contravene Islamic law!”  You know the drill.

 How exactly this will all play out I do not know.  But I thought that Trump’s speech, indeed his entire visit to Saudi Arabia, was a tremendous success.  I am not discounting the many things to criticize about that strange theocratic, oil-sodden backwater.  It would be nice to drag them into the modern world and encourage them to change their behavior towards Christians, towards Jews, towards women, and towards other groups they oppress. Fewer beheadings, more beneficence should be the operative mantra. Trump’s intervention, appealing to shared interests, might just represent the first few steps on that road.

A Heck of a Good Question

Some Black Lives Matter, Some Don't

We rightly hold our police officers to the highest standards of conduct. Had a cop beaten a black man to death it would justifiably have been international news, especially if the beating had been caught on video. Likewise, if a white man had beaten a black man to death, it would have been international news and cause for public mourning and admonition. But the routine taking of black lives by other blacks generates no interest in the mainstream media. Forty-three hundred people, including two dozen children under the age of 12, were shot in Chicago last year. Had 4,300 white people been shot, there would have been a revolution, and the media would have set up headquarters in the city to cover the breakdown of law and order. But because the victims were nearly all black, few pay attention—besides the police.

Nor have the Black Lives Matter activists, who pour out by the thousands, sometimes to riot, in the case of alleged officer misuse of force, ever protested the killing of blacks by other blacks.