Thursday, May 27, 2010

Foxy News

 As always, Doug Wilson has an excellent critique of Fox News.  It takes him a while to get to the point, as he often does, but once he gets there, he nails it in a way that only he can.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Collapse and Capital Destruction

There exists an element in the human psyche that relishes conspiracy, apocalypse, doom and gloom, the fear of the unknown, and so on.  For centuries people have theorized the end of human civilization.  Thomas Malthus has a reputation as having predicted human overpopulation of the earth.  More recently Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb.  Michael C. Ruppert is perhaps the most recent addition to the list of apocalyptic prophets.  He has written a book and is the subject of a recent film that predicts the end of civilization as we know it due to the collapse of oil production--peak oil.

A reader and commenter of this blog brought my attention to the film, Collapse, and since, I have been following Ruppert's blog.  Ruppert gave a lecture in Vermont last week and the video is now available online.  You may watch it below.  Ruppert's argument, in short, is that human civilization has grown in parallel to increasingly efficient uses of energy--wood to coal to petroleum.  Ruppert is convinced that we reached the peak of oil production in 2005-2006 and we're about to see a "cliff event" that will destroy the technological advances that have been made in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Imagine a world with a permanently low, and decreasing supply of oil.  It is a frightening thought.

I don't know enough about Peak Oil to make any real judgments about the merits of Ruppert's thesis.  So without judging the validity of his premise, his conclusion does seem very plausible--perhaps even frighteningly logical. 

The most important aspects of Ruppert's thesis doesn't necessarily hinge on Peak Oil itself, though I think he would disagree.  The reality of our age is that we demand everything now--infinite wealth and prosperity.  This sentiment has driven the dogma of Wall Street--wealth and profit at any expense.  At one point in his lecture Ruppert discusses Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)--a scheme designed to profit on the financial ruin of governments and corporations.  This is a critical flaw in modern financial strategy--as it represents a momentous shift in man's desire for wealth.  Historically, the creation of wealth has required production--capital creation.  Our age now seeks wealth through capital destruction, not simply capital creation.  Ruppert even goes so far as to say that the real money is in capital destruction, though he uses different terms.  This is the true story of the ongoing financial collapse. 

The new Wall Street, combined with global fiat currencies, have created an environment ripe for the destruction of nations.  Nations are in trillions of dollars of debt, with shrinking tax bases.  The obvious implication is that there are a lot of people about to lose a lot of money.  The question is who will lose it?

Both The Crash Course and Michael Ruppert see Peak Oil as a critical piece in the financial ruin of the world.  If they are right about Peak Oil, we are in very dire straits indeed.  I encountered another blogger commenting on Ruppert's film and lecture in an entirely different realm today as well, indicating that these views are taking on a much wider audience--perhaps about to go mainstream.  In essence, this blogger is advocating civil disobedience because a collapse is coming and the government won't be able to do anything about your law breaking anyway.  This perspective is frightening, in that what happens if this view does go mainstream?  It is one thing to disobey an unjust law, it is another to disregard all law, as may happen if the nation begins to realize it is falling apart.

There are some concerning things happening in our world right now that are new to the western consciousness.  A friend on Facebook recently asked, "What happens to the nation whose God is not the Lord?"  The first response was "I think we're gonna find out."  I replied with Isaiah 1:7-9, though I could have said, we're already witnessing the consequences of idolatry in our nation and across the globe.

Doug Wilson said something very interesting today in an "Ask Doug" segment on Canon Wired.  He wants to write a book entitled, "Mere Christendom," dealing with the Prodigal Civilization.  He thinks "secularism is on its last legs", and wants to see "a return to a Christendom ideal."

The future is not ours to know, so I won't make any predictions, but I suggest you look at the evidence around you and prepare for hard times ahead.  But most importantly, pray for the world--that we all might repent of our sin and turn in faith to the Creator God.



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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Doug Wilson on Obama and Recent Primaries

Doug Wilson has written a couple great posts on Obama and the recent primary elections.

Here's a gem from The Coming Obamafail:

"...when we get to the decisive point of the coming Obamafail, we are going to be looking at a political moon crater that makes Jimmy Carter's hole in the ground look like the something on the 11th green at Augusta.
Punditry is always risky, and the ebb and flow of political battles always has surprises for everybody. At the same time, it should be possible to see the direction things are going. As Dylan put it, back in the day, you don't have to be a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing."



Also read Cutting Off the Buttons.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Newt Gingrich Interview with National Review

Newt Gingrich recently gave a fascinating interview with National Review.  I commend the interview to you.  Though my loyal readers will know my allegiance lies elsewhere, Gingrich at least says the right things in this interview, and offers some hope for the next two election cycles.









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Love, Lust, and Enjoyment

"By love I mean the impulse of one's mind to enjoy God on his own account and to enjoy oneself and one's neighbor on account of God; and by lust I mean the impulse of one's mind to enjoy oneself and one's neighbor and any corporeal thing not on account of God.  What unbridled lust does to corrupt a person's own mind and body is called wickedness; what it does to harm another person is called wrongdoing.  All sins can be divided into these two kinds, but wickedness comes first.  Once it has depleted the mind and as it were bankrupted it, it rushes on to commit wrongdoing in order to remove the obstacles to wickedness or to find assistance for it.  Similarly, what love does to benefit itself is self-interest, and what it does to benefit a neighbor is known as kindness.  And here, self-interest comes first, because nobody can do good to another out of resources which he does not possess.  The more the realm of lust is destroyed, the more the realm of love is increased."

Saint Augustine, On Christian Teaching Book Three Chapter 10

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Christianity and Myths of History

Patheos.com has an excellent interview with sociologist and historian Rodney Stark.  I recently read The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark. I recommend both the interview and the book.

In this interview Stark explains his thesis in The Victory of Reason:

"Christianity was the basis of western civilization. When you look at western civilization and see what it has, it came from Christianity. The notion that somehow western science broke through against the resistance of religion is total nonsense. Without the religious background, there wouldn't be any science, because the fundamental notion that separated the West from everybody else was the notion that God is rational and created a rational universe, so there were rules out there to be discovered. Nobody else looked for the rules, because they didn't believe they were there to be found. They didn't believe that the world had been created in the same rational way. The marvelous thing is that these early Christian scientists, including Newton, believed God had created a rational world, went ahead and looked for the rules of that rational world -- and darned if they didn't find them. In an interesting sense, it was a scientific confirmation of the Christian religion."

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Legal Plunder

"...how is this legal plunder to be identified?  Quite simply.  See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong."  See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

Frederic Bastiat The Law p. 31

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Respectable Law

"No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree.  The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable.  When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.  These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them."

Frederic Bastiat The Law, p. 19

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Idolatry of Science

Science is presented as an objective method of understanding our world, free from the prejudices of religion.  Yet this music video makes clear that science is actually in direct competition with God. 



HT: AP

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Friday, May 07, 2010

The Pride of Minnesota

When Al Franken was elected appointed as Minnesota's Junior Senator, I thought it was a perfect metaphor for what congress has become--a bunch of clowns.  With Franken, the label has become official.  This clip cements Franken's reputation as a buffoon.  



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Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Evolutionary Catechism

This is hilarious--the evolutionary catechism, complements of Doug Wilson.  Go to the link and you can listen to an extended version of the text below.

Out of the primeval mudpits happened one-celled life (amoebic life!)
And suddenly, for no reason at all, this life began to multiply (multiply!)
And the evening and the morning were the first 3 zillion years.

Pretty soon the ocean was filled with little beasties (it was filled!)
And then these hardy pioneers got more complicated (by accident!)
And the Society for the Prevention of God said amen (ah-ah-a-men!)

But among these children of chance were some malcontents (dissatisfied!)
Said they were tired of the water (waterlogged!)
So they crawled up on the beach and grew nostrils.

Looking back, we see the dry guys made the right choice (their choice was good!)
Because they evolved all the way up to man (and man is good!)
While those who held back only made it up to dolphin.

But does this mean that man is nothing but a mere protoplasmic accident? (no indeed!)
On the contrary, we hold that man is special (man’s unique!).
You see, man has an opposable thumb.

So the next time life’s got you down, just remember (you’ve got thumbs!)
And you don’t know why you exist or where you’re going (but you’ve got thumbs!)
Enough to make you weep for joy.


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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Doug Wilson on Taxes

Doug Wilson has some very controversial thoughts on Christians and taxes.  I encourage you to watch this.  In essence he's arguing that Christians do not have any obligation to surrender all claims upon their income to the government, when the government is in effect stealing. 


Brush Strokes: Conscience and Taxes from Canon Wired on Vimeo.


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