Thursday, February 26, 2015

Me on the Federal Reserve

**Free Book Download Below. Book on how to Protect Yourself From Federal Reserve Policies**

This was a practice video. I had five minutes to prepare. Click the link above to see it. Despite it being conducted in January 2013, it's still relevant because it "Audit the Fed" has just as much chance of passing in the House as it did in 2012, and more of a chance to pass to pass in the Senate, but not by too much, it seems.

 The Hill says the fate of the bill might rest in the hands of a few moderate Senate Democrats.

A White House official in February said the bill was dangerous, The Hill reported.

Here's my most recent reporting on the Issue:

And here is my past reporting that I used to conduct the interview:

Scot McKnight on Bonhoeffer on Church and State

His proposal at the end is a good start. However, he should speak for himself in his opening sentence: "We don’t think enough about the relationship of the church to the state; we assume what exists in our world is what is supposed to be." 

Theonomists and Reconstructionists have been on it for decades. McKnight, in 2012, recommended a response book to "Dominion theology."  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jesus is the prince of peace; Christians are supposed to follow him 24/7

"It honestly has just astounded me in the last three decades how many good Christian kids have, without a flinch of conscience, marched off to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere. I don’t think they got the memo about what the Sermon on the Mount actually says on things like non-violence, love, forgiveness, non-resistance, loving enemies and the like. Jesus intended for his followers to imitate his own behavior, not that of Caesar and his legions. 
If only for the sake of putting the emphasis on the right syllable, Christians ought to be going out of their way to distinguish themselves from their more bellicose neighbors and friends. They ought to be setting a better example of the more excellent way of loving one’s neighbors, even one’s enemies, and I’m pretty sure when Jesus said love your enemies he didn’t mean love them to death at the point of a gun. 
 For me this means three things at the personal level: 1) I can’t serve in the military, except perhaps as a medic or maybe a chaplain, although I am not even sure that might not be too much of a compromise; 2) it means I must spend my life on positive Gospel tasks, not negative destructive ones. My focus and life style and views must be entirely different from that of perhaps the majority of Americans on these matters; 3) it means that I must support those Jesus says are blessed— the peacemakers." 

 Ben Witherington III, "The Prince of Peace - Part One"

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Video: Ron Paul gives trenchant foreign policy analysis in "The State of Liberty 2015"

If you are short on time, begin at the 30-minute mark. Dr. Paul gives an excellent analysis of foreign policy.

Near the beginning, he also touches on Ferguson and police militarization and police culture.

Does the Federal Reserve cause booms and busts?

I recently asked Federal Reserve Governor Jerome H. Powell what he would say to the critics of the Federal Reserve who say that the Fed is the cause of the boom and bust cycle.  I figured that any answer would do.  This was his response:
The question was do we cause booms. I guess I would really look at that question this way: What would life be like without the Fed. In other words, I wouldn’t expect perfection from of any government organization, or of any organization of any kind.

So the fed will never get things perfect and the fed has made mistakes. Right? We allowed inflation to get out of control in the 70s. Policy improves over time, we hope. Exogenous events happen and they make fools of everybody and then they’ll make geniuses out of everybody. So don’t expect perfection. But over time it has made sense – I think the Fed has done a good and improving job in keeping inflation low now for more than 30 years, and essentially having pretty good results.

Now are you going to point – now you ought to be pointing at the financial crisis and say “how did that work out?” The financial crisis is not something that -- any government agency that had a responsibility for the economy can feel really good about. So mistakes get made.

But I guess the question I would ask back is what would life be life with no – if you look back pre-fed, there were very severe depressions—depressions that looked a lot more like the Great Depression.
In this depression (sic), output went down 4%. In the Great Depression, output went down 25%. That kind of thing happened a lot in the 19th century. You had these hard stops of credit. The banking system would fail. There would be a run on the banks. JP Morgan personally would come in and get his friends together and bail out the system.

But – so the judgment was finally made to create a central bank. There is no advanced economy in the world that doesn’t have a central bank that does pretty much the same thing the Fed does. No one has run an experiment in a very long time of not having a central bank. Don’t really think that’s a way to go.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Boyce Watkins: Anybody who advocates for the systematic extermination of Blacks might as well be a member of the Ku Klux Klan

"Think about this. If a white cop goes out and says 'kill that nigga,'we'd be marching in the streets. We'd be protesting because it's clearly racist. But for some reason, when a black rapper says 'kill that nigga' we start dancing. We think that that's ok. And my argument is that anybody who advocates for the systematic extermination of African American people might as well be a member of the Ku Klux Klan."

That quote was one of the highlights of this video.

But he also talks about how Lil Wayne must feel very deeply about black on black homicide. He makes the argument that Wayne probably knows a lot more people in poverty than he does, a lot more people who died because of gun violence than he does, and couldn't possibly be careless about it.

As always, he challenges hip-hop to rise above what it often is -- to rise above being slaves for dollars. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Video: Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu explains why society is seeking to destroy black boys

In this throwback interview Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu explains why society is seeking to destroy black boy.

Video: Talib Kweli: Industry Has Demonized Conscious Music

Is it still true?

Douglas Wilson invites Stephen Fry to a Debate

Via Blog and MaBlog:
Stephen Fry has posed some questions that I believe have some straight-forward answers. I would like to hereby extend a cordial invitation to meet together with him in order to debate them in greater detail. I believe that we could put together an event that put the spotlight on these questions, along with our respective answers.
Fry recently blasted the God of the Bible in an interview.

Video: David Berlinski on Science, Philosophy, and Society

David Berlinski is the author of The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. He's consistently good in so many different ways.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Life is a series of choices

Life is full of choices -- decisions.

Everyday, every moment we choose to do one thing over another. We show our preferences by our actions, not by our lips. We choose to pursue our passions rather than stay idle. We choose to be on social media rather than not be on it by our actions. We choose to keep relationships going by choosing that person over and over again, as the author above says. We choose to pay for things that we want rather than go without, and this shows our preference for those things. We choose to spend time doing this, rather than doing that, and these actions show where our heart is.

This doesn't make professions ("I love you," "I want to start my own business," "I want be more productive") unnecessary, for who in a romantic relationship wouldn't want to hear that? Who in a business partnership wouldn't want to know that their partner is serious? But these professions are necessarily followed by action.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bam! This is how you start a book

Jeffrey Burton Russell begins Exposing Myths About Christianity with the following:

"Fashionably elite people are supposed to be atheists. As a result, Christianity is uncool in much of contemporary Western society. Human beings are egocentric, and if God exists, one's own ego is not the center of the universe."

I could end there, but I like what he has to say immediately after that:

"In many circles--the field of psychology, as one example--someone who takes Christianity seriously can provoke mockery or even anger from others in the circle. Humans are very tribal, and religious belief is a good way to get oneself kicked out of certain tribes."

The prose doesn't stay this good after the second or third page, but boy does it catch your attention.

As I wrote in my Goodreads update, "[w]hile Russell writes like a bored reporter, or an academic, which he is, the information is interesting. There are tons of footnotes, which you should expect from an academic. Someone must have really given him help on his opening paragraph, because it is really good and draws you in" -- which, I might add, a good lead is supposed to do.

WCF Chapter One "Of Holy Scripture" Sunday School (Sept.-Oct. 2021)

Our text for Sunday School (also "The Confession of Faith and Catechisms") Biblical Theology Bites What is "Biblical Theology...