Thursday, August 18, 2011

A System That Works

Months ago I had a discussion with a very good friend about economics and government. That in itself was a surprise, as he rarely cares to comment on the subject; He spends most of his study time on incorruptible things--things that truly are more directly eternally significant than most such political discussions. I made my usual attempts to point out the benefits of capitalism and the free market and he responded with a statement that I've been considering ever since. He said (in my best paraphrase),
"I'm fine with capitalism, but the problem is sin. The reason all [political/economic] systems fail is sin. Any system would work if it wasn't for sin--even socialism."
As I considered his words, they immediately began to ring of truth. Socialism certainly would work without sin. If the person or group of people who held the responsibility of distributing wealth, goods, and services had perfectly pure intentions and infallible judgment, all of society would serve and be served effectively and without any reason for complaint. Likewise, capitalism would be even more attractive if people valued eternal things rather than earthly and temporal ones.

However, further consideration revealed the flaw in this thinking. The quoted statement assumes that governments and economic systems would be necessary without sin. It could be argued that the very reason we have need for such devices is to help us protect would-be victims from the moral crimes that might be committed against them. Capitalism protects us from the coercive will of power-hungry would-be demagogues (a.k.a., "sinners"), while socialism portends to protect us from greedy, rich people (a.k.a. "sinners"). So without sin, there would be no need for such protections.

In other words, any economic system would work... if we didn't need one. While I look forward to That Day, I believe that the better solution for this sinful world is the one based on voluntary actions rather than one based on the threat of violence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Charlie Sheen Now Dating Lindsay Lohan!

I apologize for shocking you with such a dramatically false headline but now that I have your attention, here are a few things that aren't being covered on TV because of important celebrity news...

Monday, October 25, 2010


Lately I've been trying out this productivity technique called The Pomodoro Technique.  The basic idea is that you write down a task to work toward, work hard for 25 minutes, and then rest for 5 minutes--repeating until the task is complete.

Since most of my time is spent in front of a computer, I looked for a timer that would show me the 25-minute clock counting down.  I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to write my own as my first open source project.

The name of the program is Pomo.  You can get it here.  Just download and run it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This is Not Where Our Faith Should Be

For decades, Americans have subscribed to a monetary system which is openly and unashamedly referred to as a "fiat" money system. Have you ever wondered what "fiat" means? Here are the definitions (from
  1. a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort
  2. an authoritative determination : dictate
  3. an authoritative or arbitrary order : decree
"Fiat" comes from Latin and literally means "let it be done". The ability to think or speak something into being is a remarkable one. Who but God can do this? By virtue of being made in His image, we do possess a spark of His creativity. Using existing materials, we can build. From a framework of God-given instincts and accumulated knowledge we can conceive of new ideas. But who among us can create as He does: ex nihlo (from nothing)? Who can order "let there be light" and have history follow us with "and there was light"?

Why this word ("fiat"--which, by the way, has the same root as the word "faith") did not send up more red flags at its inception is beyond me. When God warns us not to trust in riches, He speaks in terms of gold. For instance, Job says,

If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;
If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
Elsewhere in the scriptures, wealth is referred to in terms of silver or bronze... or horses and chariots! The point is not that gold alone (the yellow stuff--element "Au" in the periodic table) should be used as money, but rather that whatever we use for money should have real historical value, not an artificial and dictated value which is sure to evaporate quickly. If we are not to trust in precious metals like gold--which have been used for 6000 years as money; that which (in my opinion) God has given to us for the very purpose of mediating exchange--how much less should we trust in the arrogant and blasphemous idea that man can speak value into existence?

It would be bad if they thought they could ascribe the historical market value of a precious metal to some other less-valuable metal. Of course, they did do that. That is the reason why dollars are no longer silver and pennies are no longer copper. It would be worse if they thought they could declare valuable some unlimited resource such as wood (or something derived from it). Of course they did that as well. These actions were heinous, but what if they commanded value into something even less valuable than paper? Yes, this has also been done (with digits).

We can't predict exactly how long human fiat decrees can stand, but we can happily know that they are but a vapor and will be exposed and extinguished.

This an excellent interview of a former Director of the Federal Reserve (2 minutes):

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Capitalism at Work

UPDATE: Just a couple of crazy hicks, you say? Check this out.

How much time and money will BP and the government spend on unnatural (and potentially environmentally dangerous) schemes to clean up the oil spill?

My favorite quote from the video is: "We think this is a good idea... and we're pitching this idea but we would like to be able to do the work."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hit and Run

Here are a couple of quick ones...

Mandatory Flu vaccinations coming to Massachusetts:

Jim Rogers on the direction we're headed:

Friday, September 18, 2009

"You lie!... NOT!"

Isn't it a pleasure to hear a politician speak and actually believe that he is is being honest with us?

Friday, September 4, 2009

What is happening to America?

The land of the free? The home of the brave? In many ways, it seems more and more unrecognizable every day. Here's a recent example:

I sure hope that doesn't get the gentleman into a compromising position! What's most troubling about this is that he apparently didn't expect that any of his constituents would object to being treated this way.

Earlier this week, the President of the United States of America announced that he was going to address via television all of the children in public schools all across the country. There was so much immediate objection to this outright propaganda assault that the event was later withdrawn.

These are just two fresh-off-my-iGoogle-page examples of the craziness that has crept upon us within the last few years.

What is happening to America?

However, not all news is bad. I have become very encouraged lately by what seems to be an awakening in the hearts and minds of young people all around. I frequently meet teens and young adults who are sober-minded, spiritually solid (often "reformed"), and have a yearning for Liberty. These young people seem unaffected by the dropping of the names of political parties. It's as though they have a distrust of all politicians--as of course they should. Suddenly, things that haven't been questioned for decades are being questioned. And what's perhaps most exciting is that in the Internet they have a printing press like no other revolution has ever seen. (At least, they have it until the President shuts it down.)

Though I noticed it first in the young people, I also see adults suddenly realizing that socialized medicine will always fail, that the Federal Reserve's inflation of the money supply is theft, that it is contradictory to think that we can spread freedom by force.

What is happening to America?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inconvenient Debt

Since I'm not finding time to blog much these days, I thought I'd just start leaving some interesting things I'm seeing here and there...

In case you can't see the video above, here's a link to the original.
By the way, I haven't yet seen the actual charts from the Federal Reserve (which Beck refers to), so I don't know the actual numbers.  But... you can bet that it's worse than what they will confess to.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Rocks and Stones Will Cry Out

In a previous post, I questioned why the "spot" prices of gold are so low. From what I understand, it is rare in the post-gold-standard period for the stock market and gold to fall in unison for any significant amount of time. In that post, I had even wondered whether the gold market (spot) prices were being artificially manipulated.

Last night I happened upon a May 2007 article by Hugo Salinas Price, President of the Mexican Civic Association Pro Silver. I know nothing of Price--except what is said of him on this website:
"Hugo Salinas Price, 75, is a retired businessman who lives in Mexico. He has been a follower of the Austrian School of Economics since his youth."
If you don't know what he means by "the Austrian School" then you'll just have to take my word for it: It's good. It means he's thinking logically. [For my Reformed Baptist friends out there, you might think of "Austrian" being to economics what "Reformed" is to theology.]

In the aforementioned article, Price demonstrates that the vast majority of gold is owned by private citizens--not by governments. He also speculates that the reason the spot prices are so low is artificial manipulation by the governments and that they are trying to prop up their fiat currencies by making it look like it is holding its ground against real, valuable, God-given money.

Here's the bottom line from the article:
[CB = Central Bank, IMF = International Monetary Fund]

Ownership of world gold:

CBs and IMF: 8.65 % of world gold stock

Private hands: 91.35% of world gold stock.

A dark shadow lies over the reported gold stocks of 28,853 tonnes as of 2007. These include 8,117 tonnes of US gold which the Treasury says are in “Deep Storage”. A most unusual and evasive categorization of gold! There are doubts regarding CB gold. Do they have what they say they have? Is there any gold at all left in US gold reserves?

Let’s put it this way: who has been judging correctly with regard to the wisdom of owning gold - a few dozen Central Bankers and Treasury chiefs, or millions of human beings around the globe? The collective wisdom of mankind has always held gold in high regard; surely it will continue to do so until the end of time. The few dozen arrogant men who think that this collective wisdom can and should be wiped out, are fighting the wishes of humanity and will have to fail in their efforts, simply because the IMF figures tell us that if they insist on being stubborn about not allowing the price of gold to rise and persisting in the sale of Central Bank gold, they will end up with no gold to sell.
Even gold and silver--directly created "fiat" (out of nothing) by God Himself with properties which make them ideal money--are Corruptible Things and will one day pass away. How much longer can the virtual, pseudo-creations of a "few dozen arrogant men" last?

The evil plans of evil men will come to nothing. If economic laws have been broken, then we should expect that justice will not sleep forever. The rocks and stones (i.e., gold and silver) will cry out*.

*Disclaimer: No, I am not suggesting that the fall of the US dollar is the the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy... I was just drawing an analogy. Hopefully I'll have opportunity soon to post about money in the Bible. Right now I have to quickly get to work and earn some fiat money... while there are still some people around who will trade it for real money. :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just Another Cat

I'm not endorsing these Canadian "new democrats" (whoever they are), but I thought the cartoon was... timely.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Bittersweet Day

I am now leaving the house to go vote for Chuck Baldwin (for President), Chris Baker (for US House), and Daniel Towers Lewis (for Senate).

The mere fact that none of these men is likely to be elected is a sad thing. Why? Because all three of the men who will win share in the responsibly for the coming economic collapse. All three of them (Obama/McCain, Bart Gordon, and Lamar Alexander) have consistently voted against America and lined their owners' pockets with money stolen from Joe the plumber. Most recently all of them voted for the bailout.

And yet we reelect them... and even promote them to the highest office in the nation. We are content with a "choice" between a reluctantly socialist warmonger and a reluctantly warmongering socialist.

Amazing. May God have mercy.

At this point, I am very hopeful that He is doing exactly that. If Obama is elected, I suspect that our country will be bankrupt in months. If McCain, a few short years. Don't mistake me. This isn't gloom and doom... This is good news.

More to come in the next few days.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why Gold and Silver Prices are So Low (and why there's none available)

I found this article today by Alfred Adask. I don't know anything about the guy, but he is offering the only reasonable explanation I've heard so far for the currently low gold and silver prices.

In short, what he says is this:

  • The market ("spot") prices are not set by actual metals sales, but by futures sales--which is much different.
  • Actual metals are not available at the low spot prices, but they are available. (Just look on eBay!)
  • So... to find the real price of real gold, you can't depend on the spot prices. You have to look at actual metal sales.
I can certainly confirm what he's says about the eBay prices being significantly higher than the spot prices. We'll just have to wait and see if whether the spot price follows. I'm guessing it will have to follow unless it is being artificially manipulated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Must-See: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics

This is an episode of 20/20 which was televised earlier this month. It's better than anything I've seen--perhaps ever--in the mainstream media. It's a decent introduction to real politics... and quite entertaining. Enjoy.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

This is NOT Where Our Faith and Hope Are

We should be good stewards of all blessings God has given, but even the most enduring things of this world will pass away. My intention here will be to discuss these temporal things like silver and gold, hay and stubble; but with the acknowledgment that as helpful and practical as even the best of these worldly things may be for now, they are not eternal. As Rich Mullins put it, "I don't want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing," but I suspect we will find shadows of the Divine even amidst these Corruptible Things.

- Ben

(From First Peter, chapter 1)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of
your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever."