Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Musings on the Next Shoe, Part 2

Julian Robertson, Chairman of Tiger Management, says, "I really do think the recession is at least temporarily over. But we haven't addressed so many of our problems and we are borrowing so much money that we can't possibly pay it back, unless the Chinese and Japanese buy our bonds."

Again, if the recession is over, and I'm still not convinced it is, get ready for the next shoe to drop--because it will be much worse than what we're experiencing now.

"It's almost Armageddon if the Japanese and Chinese don't buy our debt,” Robertson said in an interview. "I don't know where we could get the money. I think we've let ourselves get in a terrible situation and I think we ought to try and get out of it."

“If the Chinese and Japanese stop buying our bonds, we could easily see [inflation] go to 15 to 20 percent,” he said. “It's not a question of the economy. It's a question of who will lend us the money if they don't. Imagine us getting ourselves in a situation where we're totally dependent on those two countries. It's crazy.”












Musings on the Next Shoe, Part I.

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Watch This!

This might be the best six minute video I've seen on the future of the dollar and gold. Jim Rickards gets it, and explains our situation remarkably well.

Around 2:24 in the video, he explains that our $60 trillion worth of liabilities must be cut in half in the next fourteen years. He says, "...there is no combination of growth and taxes that can fund that liability." A 4% rate of inflation for seventeen years will cut the value of the dollar in half will make that payment possible.

But it gets worse: he explains that if the market gets wind of this, which they probably will, we may see a rapid collapse of the dollar.

He goes on to explain something called Triffin's dilemma at 4:05. "In order to stimulate world trade and the world economy, some hard currency country has to run persistent large deficits. But if you run persistent large deficits eventually you go broke." It is called Triffen's dilemma, because while he saw this happening, he had no solution to the problem of keeping the hard currency country from going broke. Great, right?

So as Rickards says, we're going to "Kick the problem upstairs." He says we'll depreciate our dollar while the rest of the world uses a new reserve currency called SDRs, (International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights) to fuel the world's economy. If the market gets ahead of us, we'll drive up interest rates.

We're in serious trouble, and if you recognize that now, you're better positioned to retain your wealth than those that do not recognize it. But beware! Social Security and other liabilities are adjusted for inflation using the CPI (Consumer Price Index). If we inflate our currency, the liabilities such as Social Security will increase with inflation, so the government has the incentive to downplay inflation figures via the CPI. This means that inflation will have to be higher than stated for this to actually work. This of course means that the purchasing power of your money will be considerably less in twenty years than it is now.

This is scandalous, and this is why we need to unyoke ourselves from our tyrannical government. These people, as Rickards stated, are intent on protecting the bankers and powerful interests in Washington, not the average American. I say, throw the bums out!














P.S. This is the Op-Ed referred to in the video.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ron Paul at the University of Minnesota

My wife was kind enough to give me the freedom to go to the Ron Paul and Michelle Bachman Townhall last Friday evening. It was a great event, and I was glad to have gone and heard the only politician worth a dime speak.

Michelle Bachman spoke on the Federal Reserve for around fifteen minutes, I'd say, and as Ron Paul himself said, there wasn't much to add. She did a great job exposing it, and she certainly seems to have the fundamentals down regarding the Fed's actions.

Ron Paul spoke for more than half an hour, touching on most major issues, demonstrating how they are all connected through illegal government intervention. I found it amusing, and interesting to watch Bachman's reaction to Paul's talk. She was a cheerleader throughout, but when Paul decried the War on Drugs, Bachman had no applause. She was clearly uncomfortable, especially as the crowd roared in approval of Paul.

Anyway, the event was recorded and you may watch it on YouTube.





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Musings on the Next Shoe

The last few weeks I've noticed a shift in my own perspective on the future. For months now, I've been anticipating the worst--the market death spiral similar to that of the Great Depression. I was persuaded by Robert Prechter's arguments that the markets were about to make a big correction. But the markets continue to go up, and even sentiment is improving. The media has certainly played a role in trumpeting the market recovery.

There seems to be a building consensus that we've avoided the collapse that many feared, including myself. Yet news stories continue to be released about the demise of the dollar, for example.

Perhaps we've turned a corner and the markets will only continue to improve for the foreseeable future. But do not be deceived into thinking that life will return to the pre-recession normal. Economic laws still apply. Our government and the Federal Reserve have pumped trillions of dollars of stimulus into the economy--this money represents debt that must be repaid.

Debt requires creditors, and credit requires collateral. You, your family, and your neighbors are the collateral--do not forget this. What I wrote in May is still true:

"Basically, there are four things the government can do to eliminate the massive debt we're accumulating: tax the country into the stone age, inflate the currency so that it becomes worthless, repudiate the debt, or cut spending significantly. The government has already set the course of taxation and inflation. This combination will be devastating and you absolutely do not want to have your financial portfolio to have any significant exposure to the U.S. dollar."

The government has not changed course in the past five months. The course continues to be taxation and inflation. We are continuing to accumulate debt, and increasingly, we are monetizing the debt. This means the Federal Reserve is buying government debt and printing money. Our debtors, including the Federal Reserve, are eventually going to demand their money back, and even stop buying our debt. When this happens, America as we all know it will be over.

So if the worst is over, at best, we've bought ourselves some time; at worst, we will make the situation worse and hasten the day of reckoning. If you've already begun preparations for that day, don't stop. Use this time to continue to prepare. If you have not yet begun, be glad, because you still have time.

And continue to watch the price of gold--this is our best barometer to watch our buying power decline, and to know how bad the situation is.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beyond Organic Food

I was introduced to Joel Salatin through a blog I happened upon a few weeks ago. I knew nothing about him, but did some research and discovered that he is a self proclaimed Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist farmer, who is very well known throughout the organic food industry and the local food movement.

He was popularized in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. I have not yet read that book, though I intend to. But I just finished reading Joel Salatin's book Holy Cows & Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food.

Holy Cows and Hog Heaven has provoked me to think more about where our food comes from, how it is produced, and why we eat what we eat. I recently lampooned the idea of organic food, but thanks to this book, and other related reading, I'm coming around.

Salatin points out that much of the meat we eat is raised in abominable conditions. For example, cows are fed chicken manure and urea. But don't worry, the meat is irradiated! Mad Cow disease was the result of cows that had cannibalized other cows. Foot and Mouth disease is a threat only to animals that are fed commercial grain and feed. There are many other such examples in the book.

But in contrast, in the words of Salatin, "Farm friendly food asks the question, "Is the pig happy? On our farm and thousands like it, we try to provide a habitat to each plant and animal that allows it to fully express its physiological distinctiveness. When we respect nature or the Creator's design enough to reverence the plow on the end of a pig's nose, the graceful beak on the front of a chicken, the earthworms gamboling around in the soil underneath the cabbages, then we have a moral framework in which to contain our human cleverness."

Salatin writes in his conclusion, "Farm friendly food respects the wisdom of the Creator's DNA, honors the information in the mind of an earthworm, and appreciates the beauty of hogs in the rooting heaven. This food values bioregions, social structure, and wildness. It ponders the environmental and moral footprint of every decision, every activity, every marketing model."

The book is full of such wisdom. Salatin is clearly a man who has thought through Christian stewardship of creation. Have we given this adequate thought? I confess I have not, and I doubt many others have.

I encourage you to watch some videos about Polyface Farm.


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Monday, September 21, 2009

A Profile in Restraint

Jan Helfeld has an insightful interview with Senator Harry Reid. It isn't clear when the interview was done, though Reid appears younger in the video than he does now.

Jan Helfeld exercises amazing restraint, as he neither yelled at, swore at, or punched Reid. Were I the interviewer, I confess I may have resorted to one of those wrong responses.

In the video, Reid contends that ours is a voluntary system of tax. Reid is either deulsional, a liar, or nitwit. Watch and see.



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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ron Paul @ the University of Minnesota

Those of you in the Twin Cities metro area are in for a treat. Ron Paul will be joining Michelle Bachman for a Student Town Hall at Northrop Auditorium on Friday, September 25th at 7pm.

The website for the event states:

"Both members of Congress will address the student body to discuss monetary reform, limited government, and free market economics. Faculty and students are asked to submit their questions upon arrival for a short question and answer period following the Members’ talk."

Anyone interested in joining me there?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fed Domination

The Huffington Post has written a great article exposing the Federal Reserve's power over the economics industry in America.

"The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found."

The ramifications of this are obvious to anyone that follows the news. When the Fed is immune from criticism, it can get away with murder. End the Fed!

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Friday, September 04, 2009

More Political Wisdom from Doug Wilson

The Obama saga continues. It does not look like he is going to be able to retrieve any kind of recognizable win out of the health care debacle, and thanks to God on that one. But because he is going to have to put some kind of happy face on whatever bill does get through Congress, he will have to say it is basically what he wanted. Because it isn't anything of the kind, this will alienate his base, which is on the hard left. In order to placate them, he will have to throw them some kind of bone, which is what Eric Holder's investigation of CIA interrogators appears to be. Couple this with his new HIG move (High Value Detainee Interrogation Group) which is not under the CIA, not under the FBI, and not under the Justice Department, it is beginning to look as though we might have established ourselves a torture czar.

Now don't get me wrong. Given the exigencies of the current debate, if we captured Osama tomorrow, the new HIG questioners, armed with feather dusters, might be able to find out what Osama's favorite color is. I don't think that Obama has established an office, behind the current closed doors of which we might imagine snarling OGPU agents, breathing things like, "Just let us at those town-hallers."

The genius of our founding fathers is that they knew how to think downstream. They knew what certain things would look like when they came to maturity. They knew what cute little baby tyrannies would do when they grew in size and tasted their first blood.

But before I get to that, one other comment. This one is not offered in a spirit of advocacy at all, but rather as a simple observation. In this paragraph, I have my pundit hat on. Given the structure of the American right, Obama surprised them all by being relatively moderate (in their terms) when it came to foreign policy. His radicalism came out in what he tried to do on the domestic front. With the stimulus bill, and then the health care thing, he mobilized the opposition, and he did so to quite a surprising extent. Because he did that, and will likely have to give way to them, he now needs to placate the left. But if he prosecutes CIA interrogators, "who kept us safe for eight years," he will do in foreign policy what he has already done in domestic policy, which is to alienate middle America. Obama tried to placate the left with a domestic policy initiative, to make up for his continuation of Bush foreign policy, and now that that has come a cropper, now he is going to try to placate them in foreign policy to make up for the domestic failure. But I think the same thing is going to happen to him again. He is going to blow his eyebrows off for the second time in ten minutes, just like Yosemite Sam.

But in the meantime, he is going to do a lot of damage to the nation, and so I would like to lay the full responsibility for this current mess at the feet of Bush/Cheney. In the aftermath of Holder's decision to investigate some of the CIA interrogators, Dick Cheney said that their administration had kept us safe for eight years, etc. But here is the problem with that argument. They didn't keep us safe.

They kept us safe from another attack from Osama, sure, but they did not protect us from Obama. They helped to sustain, create, or grow monstrous government mechanisms that are being used to destroy the nation, and all that was necessary for the destruction to begin in earnest was one election. The mechanisms of big government, which were not rejected or dismantled during the Bush years, were just sitting there, waiting (Ecc. 10:14). They were sitting there invitingly.

Obama has already done more damage to the economy than Osama did. Maybe not on purpose like Osama, but trillions down the drain are still trillions down the drain. And Obama was able to do this damage by doing the same sort of things that Bush/Cheney did, only on a grand scale. And he was able to do these things because Bush and Cheney helped establish in our minds that this kind of governmental swollenness is "just the way it has to be."

But here is a governmental rule of thumb. If you have to create mechanisms of coercion, which is a good, working definition of what civil government is, then you ought to do it not knowing beforehand whether the winners of the next three elections will be honorable or dishonorable men. This is what our founding fathers did. They assumed that American rulers were every bit as capable of being skunks and graspers as rulers throughout the rest of history had been, and they shaped the form of government accordingly. There is a proportional relationship (and a necessary one) between what a government can do for you, and what a government can do to you. A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have. Our modern big government "conservatives" are as muddled on this point as anyone, and it is long past time for us to stop listening to them.

Obama is able to do what he is doing because he is employing the same mechanisms that Republicans used to steer the ship of state the way they liked when they were in power. The Republicans like to steer us nor' by nor' east, while the Democrats want to just do nor' east. Gehh.

Left, right, and middle, our politicians express their "faith in the American people." We return the favor, expressing our basic faith in them (provided the "them" concerned belong to the "right" party). Which, given the facts on the ground, is a crazy thing to do. Jesus did not entrust Himself to men. Why should we (John 2:24-25)? Our particular liberal democracy needs to recognize that humanistic idolatry has us by the throat. We need to return to basic Christian worldview thinking in politics. Losing our faith in mere men is the first step.



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A Valuable Insight From Marx

I recently wrote Rethinking War, and alluded to The The U.S.A Trilogy written by the then, communist sympathizer, John Dos Passos. I also quoted a leftist revisionist historian by the name of Howard Zinn. While reading The U.S.A Trilogy, I found myself also sympathizing with the Marxist revolutionaries in the book. Of course I didn't sympathize with their ideology, but their plight. I suspect that many modern conservatives, perhaps even libertarians have a very disconnected perspective on the labor movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Books like The U.S.A Trilogy expose the injustices of that era, and make it clear that much was wrong at the time and people were naturally upset by their living conditions.

I write this all as prelude to an article by Jeffery Tucker on a disagreement between two eminent Austrian School economists--Ludwig Von Mises and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. The idea at issue is in a sense, very complicated, but he implications are very simple.

In Human Action, Mises writes:

"Marxism asserts that a man's thinking is determined by his class affiliation. Every social class has a logic of its own…. This polylogism was later taught in various other forms also. Historicism asserts that the logical structure of human thought and action is liable to change in the course of historical evolution. Racial polylogism assigns to each race a logic of its own."

Tucker writes, "He [Mises] was writing in 1949 but he saw where trends were headed: polylogist thinking — the belief that a multiplicity of conflicting forms of logic exist within the human population, subdivided by some group-based characteristic — would become a prevailing feature of modern social science."

I think he's clearly right in anticipating this trend. Thus Tucker adds, "An additional point about polylogism: it is believed that not only are there are a variety of forms of logical structure existing in the world but that these forms of logic create a conflict, rooted in exploitation, that forms the basis of society and cries out for correction by some external means."

As Tucker writes, Hans-Hermann Hoppe believes this critique is "essentially correct." So why does a libertarian economist agree with a tenet of Marxism?

Tucker summarizes Hoppe:

"...what about the theory of the reality of exploitation itself? Hoppe argues that it is fulfilled in the Austrolibertarian framework of looking at the world, once we understand that the ruling class is distinguished by its access to state power. This follows from Hoppe's new definition of exploitation, which occurs when a person successfully claims partial or full control over scarce resources that he has not homesteaded, saved, or produced, nor acquired contractually from a previous producer-owner. The state can be seen as a firm devoted entirely to the task of exploitation in this sense. This exploitation creates victims, who can overthrow their exploiters once they develop a consciousness of the possibility of an exploitation-free society in which private property is universally respected and not systematically violated by a ruling class."

In essence, the Marxist idea of class struggle, is a legitimate one, though not inherent because of class, but because of external forces placed upon that class. As Tucker concludes:

"... it is precisely law and legislation that make this possible. Laws that privilege one race, one religion, one sex, one class of abilities, over another generate a group of victims and solidify a form of group solidarity that might have previously existed only in nascent form. Whereas group differences might resolve themselves through trade, the entry of the state into the association amplifies and institutionalizes group conflicts."

Hence the Marxist critique is valid, but misdiagnosed. Tucker again concludes:

"In the same way that state-subsidized exploitation led Marx to observe but misdiagnose the nature of exploitation in his time, forms of state exploitation today can lead people to embrace anticapitalistic creeds based on a misdiagnosis of the root of conflicts over race, sex, religion, ability, and the environment today. It is not the case that demographic groups are inherently in conflict; the illusion is created by the absence of what Hoppe calls "clean capitalism," in which all relationships in society are characterized by voluntary exchange and association."

The next time you hear a Marxist critique of the world around us, don't just dismiss the criticism, but recognize that there may be a truth to the criticism, and seek to find the source of the conflict, knowing that misplaced state power or third-party authority may be the source of the injustice.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Resistance

"One theme that emerges from the literature of resistance against Soviet tyranny is that external power silences and conquers those who are willing to be conquered. Solzhenitsyn and Bukovsky give innumerable examples to show that submission is not a foregone conclusion in the face of inexorable force: it is an act that is engaged in willingly by those who could do otherwise. Political authorities whose final appeal is their ability to kill or imprison their opponents cannot easily cope with people who say that that is not the final appeal, but only one appeal among many. This appears on the surface to be courage, but it is really something much more profound and powerful. Faith makes it possible to be relatively indifferent to the secondary considerations while exercising supreme care about the main consideration." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 332

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Persecution

"It is absurd that the name "Christian" should be taken by so many as synonymous with respectable, middle class, or conventional. It was first used to refer to disciples--thos under discipline of the Master--and it was coined in the midst of persecution (Acts 11:26). Should we stop accommodating ourselves to the prevailing norms, we can expect to be treated in the same fashion. We have allowed ourselves to be bought off with our free education, prosperity, and tax deductions. The persecution may begin when we renounce all that and indeed become disciples." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction pages 330-331

"How should we react to the threat of persecution? Paul's famous passage on obeying rulers, so often misused to justify the domination of despots, offered a subsidiary reason for obedience: the maintenance of a clear conscience (Rom. 13:5). It is absurd to weaken oneself by violating the law for a trivial reason like evading taxes. The Christians of the first generation, undergoing severe persecution, "joyfully accepted the plundering of [their] property," and those who live now can do the same, rather than cheapening their resistance. Ayn Rand caught perfectly the power that a clear conscience gives one who is persecuted, in the words she put in the mouth of Dr. Ferris, a scientist who served the state in its quest for power:

...there is no way to disarm any man except through guilt... If there's not enough guilt in the world, we must create it. If we teach a man that it's evil to look at spring flowers and he believes and then does it--we 'll be able to do whatever we please with him. He won't defend himself. He won't feel he's worth it. He won't fight. But save us from the man who lives up to his own standards. Save us from the man of clean conscience. He's the man who'll beat us."

Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 332

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Law and Power

"Representative government is worthy of support in principle because the biblical view of human nature concludes that all of us are flawed and unable to handle unlimited power without falling into pride and irresponsibility. Nevertheless, the ratification of law by majority vote does not validate it. To the democratic ideology, any action is just if it is approved by majority rule. To the libertarian ideology, any action is just if it is not coercive. Both are thus humanist to the core. In biblical perspective, right and wrong are not determined by the process leading up to their proclamation, but by the degree of conformity to the law of God. At the same time, most Christians have lived--and do live--under authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, and the kingdom of God is not thereby made of no effect. For Christians to remain faithful to their calling under regimes that are at once idolatrous and unrestrained in power is to invite persecution. These regimes seem to know instinctively that a church which has not been tamed is their most dangerous adversary." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 330

"One of the most serious dangers we face in seeking to influence the political sphere is that we, too, may succumb to the delusion that we possess the "solution" to the dilemmas of peace and justice, requiring only that we grasp the reins of power. If that should happen, we are only a step away from seeking to bring into being our own version of the messianic state. For it would imply that our salvation lies in yet another reformation of institutional arrangements. This society will have peace and justice when it repents and overthrows the idols, and not before." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 330

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Reforming Society

"There is an almost infinite number of ways one can stand against the powers. We are not limited to either acquiescence or law-breaking. Once we reject passivity, we can consider how to carry on the struggle. There are speeches, demonstrations, petitions, withholding of services, letter-writing, marches, economic boycott, selective disobedience, refusal to serve the state, ignoring of government directives, stalling and obstruction, overloading the administrative system with excessive compliance, and so on. Should the system worsen, of course, there is always the possibility of making oneself vulnerable to prosecution." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destructionpage 328

"Prior to sabotaging the establishment, however, we should consider how to change its course. Perhaps we could turn the powers away from idolatry and toward the establishment of the rule of justice. Proclaiming the gospel is fundamental to this. As the idolatries almost universally recognize, changing society without changing people is futile. The church's teaching function has to include a more biblical understanding of society if it is to influence the provision of justice." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction pages 328-329

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Stand Against Barbarism

"When the cultural life of antiquity collapsed with the Roman Empire, and a centuries-long era of darkness followed, it was a corps of Christian intellectuals who kept the manuscripts, and the skills to use them, from disappearing from the face of the earth. We cannot say how long or how serious the present decline will prove to be, but once again Christians can stand in the gap against barbarism. Just as the biblical doctrine of creation demystified the world and made science possible, so other aspects of the faith are needed to destroy the follies of the modern idolatries. We must demystify the nation so that patriotism does not serve as an excuse for killing people. We need to demystify the state so that it cannot do evil with impunity. We need to demystify wealth and poverty so that they do not remain principles of human worth." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 323

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Discerning Idols

"Paramount among the difficulties in Christian thinking is the dominance of anti-Christian assumptions in the "best" of the surrounding culture. Those who think Christians can easily use the world's artifacts and methods in creation of a new synthesis underestimate the all-pervasiveness and subtlety of alien and hostile influences. T.S. Eliot, who was much concerned about this problem, warned that "paganism holds all the most valuable advertising space." He feared that as long as Christians were a tolerated minority, the unconscious pressures of intellectual conformity would more gravely complicate their survival than would the plainly perceived dangers of active persecution." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destructionpage 322

"Since ours is not so much a pagan (which is to say a pre-Christian) society as it is a post-Christian one, the dangers are all the more serious. The forces of idolatry do not urge us to worship Zeus but rather use the language that for many centuries has been associated with the Christian church. Profound religious differences may on the surface appear trivial, and one who points to them runs the risk of being called a hair-splitter. Just as an observer in the seventh century before Christ would be hard-pressed to distinguish the altar of the Lord from one dedicated to Baal, so are we faced with similar confusion when devotees of the idol state use the language of Christian compassion in their evangelistic mission." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction pages 322-323

"There is no defense against such perils without a vigorous intellectual effort that enables us to discriminate between the true and the bogus. What assumptions lie behind the standard appeals to security and prosperity, justice, and equality? Whose ends are being served? Whose gods are being served? What are the consequences of the measures that this group would like to put into effect? We shall not be able to deal with questions like these until we prepare intellectuals who are able to penetrate with clarity the "advertising" that Eliot warned about, which permeates the output of all of our influential institutions. We have not yet devised a way to train them without making use of the major advertising agencies--the universities and seminaries of the reigning idolatries." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 323

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Sucker Rally

I've said it before, this stock market rally is a sucker's rally that is designed to allow institutional investors to cover their losses while fleecing the retirement investor.

Charles Biderman of Trim Trab Investment Research has been watching insider selling and buying and is saying that he's never seen such a high level of insider selling. But not only that--they are NOT buying. This is yet further evidence that those "in the know" are fleeing the stock market and have no confidence in it. Nor should you!



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Christian Culture Requires Christian Intellect

"Creating Christian culture can be accomplished only with the aid of a solid intellectual effort that takes seriously a responsibility to defend the truth. This requires a conscious departure from the debased norms that are gradually gaining predominance. Scholarship is neither to be feared nor its products given the exalted status of sacred texts. If the wisdom of the first century was "foolish" and "doomed to pass away" (1 Cor. 1, 2), so is what passes for wisdom in the present age. The New Testament writers were conscious that their teaching was despised by the cultured Greeks of the dominant civilization. The spirit of the age--any age--is always opposed to the spirit of Christ." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 322

"In their uncompromising determination to proclaim truth, Christians must avoid the intellectual flabbiness of the larger society. They must rally against the prevailing distrust of reason and the exaltation of the irrational. Emotional self-indulgence and irrationalities have always been the enemies of the gospel, and the apostles warned their followers against them (Col 2:18)." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 322

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Christian Culture is a Deviant Subculture

"...the true Christian community will be what sociologists call a deviant subculture. In political terms, it may be regarded as subversive in the sense that it is radically and consciously attempting to subvert the values of society and the institutions that represent those values. Marching to a different drummer than their neighbors, these Christians are likely to appear threatening to many, and yet to some strangely attractive." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 321

"Dissident communities need to be more than collections individuals if they are to avoid disintegration. If they are churches, they must exemplify the organic bond that can only be found in the body of Christ... An association that merely occupies its members for a few hours a week reinforces the fragmentation of the individual's life among numerous loyalties and makes it virtually impossible to build genuine community. The resulting privatized kind of religion tends to be completely ineffectual." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 321

"Deviant subcultures can survive only if they form permanent and effective communities to stand in opposition to the larger society. In sociological terms, they need to have "plausibility structures" that will support their deviance and that can only come from a close community of like-minded deviants." Herbert Schlossberg Idols For Destruction page 321

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