Demon coal

Another silly post I got fed on face book:

Wow! 30%! Attributed to getting rid of old-style coal plants.

Of course, the US did it better:

However, the US is stupid about its coal plants. Our government wants any improvements to power plants to trigger massive overhauls of the generators. Instead of allowing power manufacturers to make their plants incrementally less polluting, Uncle Sam will only except perfection. As a result, our coal burning technology is outdated and stuck in the past. PowerLine had this up last week:

Showing how much Chinese plants have improved tremendously in the last decade, while US plants remain inefficient, polluting and stagnant.

Instructive week

It's been an instructive week on social media. Most of my friends are decided leftists--one of whom once literally posted "when will people realize that socialism is the answer!"

I'm never really surprised by the lack of knowledge, understanding, questioning of sources, or research my leftist friends show. I am often posting debunking links to some of their more egregious posts (for some reason a former teacher and parent of a friend of mine gets my goat the most). Usually, they link to some inane graphic someone made that shows all right-thinking people must think conservatives are crazy.

That's about the depth of their knowledge most of the time. I talk about marginal economic theory, throw around actual facts with links to original sources, and they post from inside their bubble and at the level of 9th graders. It can be disheartening.

This week, of course, RFRA laws blew up. I kept calmly posting links to what Indiana's law actually does and how it really is just like the national law and the laws in other states (and that Connecticut's law is actually worse, despite that state's governor blasting Indiana--CT's law bars placing "a burden" on people's religious practice, most other laws bars placing "a substantial burden" which is a very big difference,) and they kept whining.

Mostly I posted links to the very good National Review article by Josh Blackman which goes into detail and even looks at the legal history of lawsuits on a circuit-by-circuit basis. Every time someone would say that Indiana's law was different and sooooo much worse, I would point out that, no, it is really the same.

Finally, I caught a lucky break. I have a very liberal friend (actually the guy I went to senior prom with in high school) who is now a con-law professor; when I posted one of my rebuttals, he came along and concurred that I was correct on the reading of law. Basically saying that in fact, I was right that the Indiana law was the same...but that the motivation of the politicians was different this time and meant to be anti-gay. That wasn't a point I wanted to deal with; I was just trying to get people to accept that the law as written was not worse than any of the other ones.

Most of my friends shut up after that.

I am sometimes reluctant to post links to conservative sources, in part because my liberal friends will dismiss them without a second thought. I think it was helpful here that my liberal friend concurred that the NR article was accurate.

Maybe people will have their eyes slightly opened to the fact that conservatives actually know what they are talking about and that their sources are often far superior to liberal ones.