Dumb Me Down, Scottie

Languages have become more dynamic, they are in a state of flux, acquiring new vocabulary from other cultures. English is particularly adept at borrowing from other languages.

There are more foreign-loan words in German from the English than the other way round: Computer, car rental, fast food to name but a few. Often they are items of everyday life with a functional usage.

already a few innocent ones from the French survive like restaurant, although one got rid of French fries which were politically corrected to freedom fries.

The English language contains already a number of words originating from the German language: Blitz, Lebensraum, Zeitgeist, Schadenfreude, and Gestalt (some are more respectable, some less tainted than others). They are all abstracts, their concepts better understood in their original coinage than the English equivalent.

I’m propagating another one. The time is right. Daily political occurrences and their reporting in the mainstream news media are crying out for Volksverdummung. For once the German information is shorter than its translation: deliberate deception of the public.

Let me give you a few examples that, coincidentally, all have to do with gas record highs. In its latest part how to survive the crunch and shock at the gas pump, CNN and their medical guru whom I adore, advises to walk more: save on gas and lose weight. What novel idea! Smaller cars need less gas. Platitude! excursion more slowly to reduce gas consumption. All gratuitous remarks and affronts in the confront of consumers, or are Americans nevertheless sleeping and totally ignorant?

A week ago or so, the prevailing wisdom emanating from the White House was a tax break on gas to lighten the burden on consumers. Not a big deal for the likes of Bush and McCain, they either have their own oil well, free cars usage, or access to a money minting press.

Now Bush and his political twin, McCain, had a brain wave. Offshore drilling, off the table since disasters like the one off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1979, might be the answer to today’s oil price debacle. Governor Crist of Florida, elected promising not to drill in the Everglades etc, did a flip-flop in order not to ruin his chances as a running mate for McCain.

Chevron spokesman, Mickey Driver, talking to NPR today about the challenges of building off-shore oil rigs admits we won’t see prices drop anytime soon because of this. Neither politicians nor oil companies have in addition answered the question why drilling the millions of acres (ca. 68) that are already under lease are not being drilled to increase production.

in addition just last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that lifting the moratorium on OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) drilling “would not have a meaningful impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas prices before 2030”, which is long after investments in different energy supplies would have a much greater impact on reducing consumer’s gas prices: “The projections in the DOE OCS case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a meaningful impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030…Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.” (Quotes taken from official press release: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/fl20_schultz/DrillingFacts.html).

In the years following the disastrous predictions of the Club of Rome (1970s), that oil resources will run out within decades, we consumers listened to the litany prayed by both, the oil producing companies and their cronies, i.e. politicians the likes of Bush and consorts that one would start looking for alternatives to out oil dependence. Hydropower, solar strength, wind turbines, all well and good, but alas- not possible in addition since gas prices were not high enough. How high is high enough exactly? Answer: To justify investing and making money out of these alternatives. This mantra has been repeated over the years. Now having reached approx. $140, there is nevertheless no convincing attempt being made here.

You hear about conceal little countries like Iceland and Denmark being pretty much independent of oil and relying on turbine strength. Solar energy is big Germany who is a technological leader in the field. Where is the USA, Florida? Where I live, they have sufficient hours of sunshine to contribute to the strength grid. Instead of perpetuating oil subsidies worth billions, the GOP is nevertheless not talking about energy conservation, but wants to waive the moratorium on drilling.

Does nobody in the GOP listen to NPR? Their interesting, objective non-derogatory discussions with experts they invite on topics like off shore drilling today are easy to follow and excel in their depths of information. Many a politician – who is not bribed, earmarked and overly lobbied- would assistance from listening.

Maybe another example for Volksverdummung would have been more convincing, e.g. the reasons that led the Americans to believe there were WMDs in Iraq and we would be greeted as liberators, that the war would pay for itself; ironically by oil. I hope the concept made it across the language obstacle.

Leave a Reply