The War On Drugs: A Libertarian Christian Perspective

The War On Drugs: A Libertarian Christian Perspective

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war-on-drugs

All the so-called “wars” on ideas like, The War on Poverty (LBJ), Drugs (Reagan), Terrorism (Bush 43), etc. are ridiculous. They never have an end, continually expand the government’s scope and power, while at the same time they reduce the liberties of  U.S. citizens, and never actually solve the problem they were created to solve. In reality, they make them worse. Don’t think so? Go to a border or an airport. If you are too young to remember the U.S. as she was before September 11th, 2001, the historic point where we chose to embrace fear over courage, I’m sorry. I really am sorry. That you have not known a world without permanent military intervention, weaponized politics, and a militarized domestic police force is truly, truly sad. Let’s take a look at the The War on Drugs and its effect on our society.

I believe the The War on Drugs has been one of the worst polices in the history of the United States. Domestic drug laws create the climate for black markets and crime. Drug users are obviously not deterred by criminalization, else there would be no arrests, or at least very few. I don’t have to tell you, this is not the case. The War on Drugs has filled our prisons with people who were originally non-violent criminals. But after serving lengthy prison sentences, they emerge from that caged-climate less human, with a network of prison relationships, and a place on the employment blacklist as felons. Now, with their new morally wounded consciences, received from the sexual and physical violence inherent in U.S. prisons, compounded significantly by reduced employment opportunities leading to poverty and disenfranchisement, they are far more likely to become life-long violent criminals. I don’t throw the word “disenfranchisement” around lightly. There are thousands, possibly millions, who are forever closed off from gainful employment other than self-employment, due to youthful mistakes. The truth is, self-employment is more than most sober, well-connected people are capable of sustaining. Many of these people never committed another crime. Yes, many states have written laws that allow non-violent felonies to be removed, that is, if you can afford it. After paying thousands at the time of trial in court costs and lawyer fees, and then serving a prison sentence, the now productive law abiding citizen is told anew they must pay more in court costs and lawyer fees just to file a piece of paper. For a person closed off from employment these financial hurdles remain insurmountable in most cases. One should look no further than the permanent felonization of people, men especially, to explain why millions of men are not in the work force, and why male labor participation rates are near great depression lows.

We should ask ourselves, if we are Christians anyway, “why God did not institute prisons in Old Testament Law?” All crimes, not punishable by death (Murder and forms of Sexual Assault aside), were dealt with through fines and personal restitution. Could God himself not be showing us that there are better ways to structure your society and deal with non-violent crime? Are our modern “Three Strikes You’re Out” laws and heavy handed prison sentences that feed the coffers of private prisons better than the biblical ideal? I don’t think so. And no Christian, especially an evangelical one, who claims to believe in the inerrancy and THE SUFFICIENCY of Scripture, should think so either.

With the amount of money being spent on enforcement agencies and prison complexes, we could engage in free or low cost voluntary rehabilitation, a much more humane and culture building activity. This is also a space that Christianity can inhabit, and do what it was meant to do, what the state cannot do, which is transform human lives. I know this will not be a popular opinion among “law and order” conservatives, but I think we can all admit that what we are doing ain’t working. More people have died via The War on Drugs than have died from the drugs themselves. That especially applies to marijuana which has never in the history of the world produced an overdose, and is currently proving medically useful. Yet, the opioid crisis that has enveloped the nation is largely built upon legally prescribed drugs, not black market substances. Proving beyond all doubt that the FDA and Congress cannot protect us from drug use no matter how much power we give to them, or how many drug laws they make.

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Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

From a political perspective, we learned a lot. First, we learned that all this so-called anti-establishment sentiment in the Republican party is a lot of bluster. Yes, Cruz won, but, as Carson and the gang fade, Cruz will likely not be the beneficiary of their exit, Rubio will. Rubio was the big winner last night for the Republicans. All the undecided, and I mean ALL the undecided, broke for him. He was in the low to mid-teens across all the polls, and yet in the end almost trumped the Donald. That is very bad news for the anti-establishment tea partiers. Rubio was the second tier establishment pick after Bush. Bush had more money, name recognition, and was from the dynastic family. So when Rubio said last night that he was told he needed to, “wait his turn”, the belt-way establishment that were all lined up behind Bush were who he was talking about. Look for that guy to sky rocket. Look for all the money to flow to him. Also look for Bush to pull out pretty soon too. If he goes single digits in New Hampshire, he’ll likely concede and endorse Marco in his concession speech that evening. Hucksters 2% will go to Rubio as well. Huck despises Cruz according to the political pundits, so he’ll likely do what he can to stop the Texas Senator he considers to be a grandstander. Carson’s people I think will go Rubio as well. Carson is not an articulate man. His supporters are not ideologues, their integrity people. Ted looks pretty greasy to them. He started running for president before he even moved into his senatorial office. Spatula Hands (Kasich), the Hugger (Christie), Gilmore (I know… who?), are all establishment guys. Their folks will migrate to Rubio as well. The wild card is The Donald. Strange that a progressive democrat holds the key to the Republican nomination, but such is the condition of the Grand Ole Party. Rubio’s violent rhetoric and Bible thumping will increase if I were a betting man. By the time we get to South Carolina and the southern states he’ll be “making the sand glow” too. So he’ll split Trump’s people, and I think that will be enough to put Ted down.

But what about Rand, what about Rand, Evangelical Libertarian!? Are you joining FOX and not mentioning him as a viable candidate? No, he’s the only guy on either of the two tickets for whom I could even consider casting my vote. He’s articulate, honest, restrained, pro-life and Constitutional. I don’t agree with him on every point, but he is miles, leagues, galaxies better than everyone else. For that reason, he won’t win. And it will be evangelical Christians that will see that the Republic falls into the wrong hands. Evangelicals have forgotten what it is to be any of the things I just listed about Dr. Paul. So has Ted Cruz. He is for “no fly zones” in other sovereign nations. Did you hear that? Enforcing no-fly zones in someone else’s sky without their permission. He is for carpet bombing entire countries, which means he is comfortable ordering the death of innocent women and children. He is for collecting all the data he can through intelligence agencies on American citizens. Edward Snowden is a traitor in his mind for warning American citizens that their government was doing some very unconstitutional, immoral, and unethical things to them. Of course in 2013, Cruz liked him. But that’s for another article. Henry Kissinger, one of the worst men in modern history in my humble opinion, got an open audience with Mr. Cruz just the other day. Kissinger never saw an intervention he didn’t like. He never saw a war he wasn’t willing to send your sons (and now daughters regrettably) to die in. These are Mr. Cruz’s influences? They sound eerily similar to George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama’s influences as well. Cruz is not an anti-establishment candidate. Like Rubio, he will be more, probably much more, of the same.

Everybody except for Rand wants to cure the American headache with a hammer. ISIS is a serious problem, but one we created with military adventurism and idealistic silliness about spreading democracy with the sword. We dropped tons of explosives on Iraq. Killed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, and all those people had relatives and friends. They don’t hate us because we are free. They hate us because we have bombed them and killed their friends and neighbors. We have decimated their country. We have created the moral climate for ISIS to turn ethnic muslims into radical ones, all over the world. Whoever is elected on either side of the aisle, Paul excepted, will only make the problem bigger, us poorer, and further diminish our moral authority. It is going to take a full fledge financial crash to stop our imperial government from continuing the invasions. That’s what happened to Rome – imperial over-reach. It saddens me that evangelical Christians could stand behind these positions, which are neither Christian nor conservative.

It used to be that Christians understood the nature of man and the limited extent to which government power could be used to affect it. We used to understand how leaving power in the hands of the individual muted it, and kept it from amassing in the wrong places. It is as if we have forgotten that “all governments are inherently evil”, inhabited by sinful men,  and that power attracts the worst sort of people. Acton said it best, “power corrupts”. There is only one candidate that wants to leave power in the hands of the States and the people there of. Only one who is calling for restraint and recognizes the limits of the governments ability to affect real change. Only one who wants to abide by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only one calling for sound money. Christians also often forget that “unequal weights are an abomination” (Deut 25, Prov 20). Only one man asking you to give him power so he can keep it from being used. His name is Rand Paul. And we will never elect him. Because we have become the people of Israel in I Samuel 8. We want a king. And God is about to give us one. A Saul.

Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Have you seen or read The Giver? The people don’t see color. Everyone is all the same. The have no choices. Bernie Sanders is The Giver. He seeks to limit choice. To make everyone the same. He believes that he has the wisdom to decide for you.

On that note, have you seen or read Divergent? Bernie Sanders is an Erudite. He believes he knows what is best what for you. What you should do. How you should live. How much things should cost etc, etc.

How about the Hunger Games? He is part of the Capitol. He believes that all monies and goods should be distributed through Washington DC. The Capitol decides who gets grants for education, farm subsidies, taxation levels etc. Everything the people make and produce goes there and the scraps are divided up among those who please and entertain the Capitol.

Bernie is not the only dystopian bad guy running this election season. Almost all of them fit the mold one way or another. I am just surprised that a group of people who have grown up reading dystopian novels and watching dystopian movies have not learned the moral lessons contained in them.

There is only one real candidate that is trying to end our 1984 like perpetual wars. Only one candidate trying end our 1984 like “Big Brother” domestic spying. Only one candidate committed to ending our massive over spending and debt problem. Only one candidate trying to end the “Pigs” (see Animal Farm) ability to change the rules and live differently from the other animals (citizens) on the farm. Only one candidate that has a consistent close to 100% Constitutional rating. Only one candidate that believes you are the answer to what ails this nation. Who wants plans by the many across this great land not plans by the few in Washington. One. There is no refuting that. There is only one non-dystopian candidate. So if you are a Millennial, Gen X’er or Boomer, vote for the Hero of the books. The one trying to take down the Capitol. The one trying to bring peace. The one trying to give liberty back to the people. That is Rand Paul and only Rand Paul.

“Patiently” Killing Capitalism and America

“Patiently” Killing Capitalism and America

Wednesday morning I checked the DJIA, and it was down just over triple digits. It stayed underwater all the way through lunch too. Then, miraculously, about 1:30 pm, it took off like a rocket, swinging 350 pts to the upside, closing over 200 pts in the black. Now I knew what caused it. I keep up with such things. The FOMC (The Fed) had just released their vague do nothing statement. They removed one measly little word. They removed the word, “patient”, meaning that they want us to think that they are going to begin to increase interest rates in the near future. This was meant to signal that all is right with the economy and that there is nothing but sunny spring days and tiptoeing through the tulips as far as the eye can see into the future for the U.S. economy. Is this capitalism? Should markets be hanging on the every word of unelected bankers about whether or not they will arbitrarily raise interest rates? Why does the Fed play such a large role in the economy? Because free markets are dead in America, that’s why.

Gone are the days when we actually looked at hard data. You know, things like the labor participation rate. Instead of looking at the phony government numbers that are built on new applications for unemployment insurance (which tell us nothing) , why not look at how many available workers are working. This tells us a far greater tale, and the story is bleak. Near all-time lows. Great Depression era lows.   Or, how about they tell us how many of these new jobs being created are minimum wage and/or part time. Truth be told, we know for a fact that about 90% of the good full time jobs created since 2010 were in the oil fields of North Dakota and Texas. We also know that oil rig leases are down, and that shale producers cannot be profitable at 50.00 a barrel oil, and that lay-offs have already begun. We know that the fourth quarter 2014 Christmas sales were abysmal, and that first quarter numbers are down as well in retail sales, wholesale orders, housing, commodities (the stuff it takes to make stuff), etc. We also know that the big jump in GDP in the third quarter last year were Obamacare costs coming online in the market. In other words, all that new money changing hands was coming out of workers pockets and going into state and federal healthcare exchanges. So yes, Americans did spend more…. on healthcare, not cars, tv’s, and restaurants. No magical Keynesian aggregate spending boost. Just plain old fashion inflation. The kind not reported by the government inflation numbers, which exclude food, energy, healthcare, and everything else in the average American’s home budget.

If we were living in a real economy, we would see wages rise against inflation, not fall, as they have done for 40 years now. If we were living in a real economy, the free market would set the “rent on money” (interest rates) according to the rules of competition. Savers would be able to save and earn a decent return for the lease of their capital (interest on savings). Banks would loan out the money that they receive through deposits. Banks would have strict credit standards so as not to lose their depositors money in bad loans. Banks would go out of business when they were reckless, and businesses would too. The market would clear bad debts, reallocate capital more efficiently, and actually recover from bad decisions. Unlike today, where we kick the can down the road for our children to pay the piper. Where are the adults? Where are the responsible men and women in the halls of power? Drunk on it likely. Neutered. To busy scratching the itch of some group or another. Having cocktail parties joking about us sloped forehead, knuckle dragging, morons out here in the real world paying the price for their cowardice and avarice.

When markets swing violently on the words of Janet Yellen and a private banking cartel, know that the end is nigh. Know that capitalism is dead. And that it took government collusion with those bankers to kill it. So, when your family suffers in the near future, blame the whole lot of them. Democrats and Republicans alike. Politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. And if we get the opportunity to make a change, choose individual freedom and free markets over the “fatal conceit” of an economy planned in the back rooms of Congress, the Treasury Department, and international banks. Remember, that it was individuals unfettered and far removed from the King of England that allowed the colonies of the New World to become prosperous. Same for Australia. Criminals given the ability to work, own land, and save, far removed from the British Parliament and it’s many laws and taxes, were able to escape poverty and even flourish in extremely harsh environment. 50 years ago, Hong Kong and Singapore were impoverished nations, yet today they are the freest and most prosperous nations in the world. Just in case you still thought this was the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are the land of the 18th most-free, and bravery, if Washington is any reflection, is all but lost.

The Israel of God and American Foreign Policy

The Israel of God and American Foreign Policy

Social media has been ablaze over the last couple of days regarding Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress. I’m not going to address the content of his speech. To be honest, I didn’t listen to it or read the transcripts. I’ve glanced through a few articles, but even those I didn’t read with an eye of criticism. I was just taking in information. I’ll let political pundits fight over whether we are too hawkish or too dovish towards Iran. I have an opinion, but I’ll save it for another day. I want to address something that concerns me much more than momentary arguments over foreign policy. I would like to address Christians, specifically from the Bible, on two separate, but inter-connected questions. The first question I would like to attempt to answer is whether or not the current nation state known as Israel today is “the Israel of God”. In other words, is the current geographic nation-state that was established in the early 1950’s the same entity as the Biblical Israel?

The children of Israel, the descendants of the seed of Abraham, were first formed into a nation under Moses. They were given a 3 pronged law. A moral law to govern their behavior, which we call, “The Ten Commandments”.  A ceremonial law to instruct them in religious worship. And a civil law to instruct them in crime, punishment, and civil organization. They, as a people, were bound together in a single covenant with God. He was their God, and they were His people, the sheep of His pasture.** This covenant was preceded by the covenant and promises of Abraham (as referenced above), and Noah. It preceded a further development with David, and finally the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ appearance is the apex of God’s covenant dealings with men, and it fulfilled every aspect of all His covenant promises, so that Paul could affirm to the Church at Corinth that, “all the promises of God find their yes in Him.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) While in the Old Testament, God’s people were tied to physical ceremony, land, and heritage. The New Testament drastically improves and expands the borders of God’s Israel. Jesus comes and proclaims peace to all men, first, to the Jews, but then to the rest of the world as well. And all that believe on Jesus Christ are brought into a better covenant, with better promises. This is an important point. Not a different covenant with different promises, but a better covenant with better promises. Jesus improved upon the Old Covenant, he abolished the national and ethnic distinction that set his Old Covenant people apart as separate and distinct, and expanded the Israel of God to include Gentiles. Israel, according to Scripture is no longer a small geographic state in the middle east, but is now an international empire that will one day rule the entire globe. There are two passages in the New Testament that I would like to point to as evidence that the way I am interpreting the Gospel’s effect on our understanding of Israel is correct. The first has to do with the way Paul interprets the promise given to Abraham concerning the “land”. The second will be Paul discussing the inclusion of Gentiles into the Commonwealth of Israel.

Romans 4:13-18

[13] For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. [15] For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. [16] That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, [17] as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. [18] In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”

This is a wonderful passage with more than one use for our purposes. First we see the great Gospel promise of inclusion. How would Abraham become a blessing to the whole world? How would the promised hope of salvation be brought to the world of men? Abraham would have a son, not Isaac, a greater than Isaac, Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:16) But more importantly for our discussion is how Paul interprets the promise of the land. Verse 13 says, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.” Wait. When did God promise Abraham that he would inherit the entire earth? He didn’t. Paul rightly sees that the covenant promise of “the promised land” has been expanded because it was too small to fit with giant nature of the person of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of all Lords. In giving His people the world, that tiny little dot in North Africa between two rivers is also included. So God is not breaking His promise to His people, He is giving them more. They are heirs to the world. This shows an expanded view of territory known as Israel, of which Jesus is King.

Now for the big discussion. One that may be difficult for you to receive at first, but I ask you to read the next passage very carefully. The Israel of God is made up now of both ethnic Jews and ethnic Gentiles… there is no distinction.

Ephesians 2:11-21

[11] Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—[12] remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. [13] But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. [14] For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility [15] by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, [16] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. [17] And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. [18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

This passage is written to a Gentile Church. Paul wants them to clearly understand their place before God in the New Covenant. He starts out by telling them that in the past, or, “at one time” “they had been separated from Christ”. That they had been “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel”. Note that phrase, “the commonwealth of Israel”. It refers to a specific political economy. And that they had been “strangers to the covenants of promise”. But now their relationship with the Father had changed.  And not just with the Father, but with the Father’s people too. The Jews, the commonwealth, covenant people of God, had regulations that separated them from everyone else. But Jesus “himself is our peace, who made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in himself one new man in the place of two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Jesus abolishes the civil and ceremonial law aspects of the Old Covenant removing all distinctions between Jew and Gentile. He writes the moral law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), which is the promise of the New Covenant, symbolizing the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the changing of the hearts of men. All men, Jew and Gentile alike. In verse 19 we have the clearest declaration in the New Testament that Gentile believers have been included in the Israel of God. There is no way to mistake Paul’s assertion unless we are just being willfully blind.

 

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”

 

He uses the exact same language that he used in verse 11 to make the connection.

 

“remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel (citizenship) and strangers to the covenants of promise”

 

So we see that the New Testament very clearly teaches us that, God’s promises have been expanded and improved upon. That God’s people will inherit the land that He promised them. But they will receive it when He gives them the world as their inheritance. Secondly, we see in a very clear and unambiguous way as well, that the New Testament teaches that the Gentiles are now included in the Common Wealth of Israel. They have been granted citizenship. All the covenant promises that God has made to His people are now theirs as well. On these two points the Bible is clear. The Church and Israel are the same entity, not because the Church replaced Israel, but because the Gentiles have been included within her. The Church is a part of Israel. She is catholic, which means she is not confined to a single nation, like the Truth was until Jesus came. She is apostolic, which means she was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Jewish apostolic figures, Jesus Christ himself being that chief cornerstone.

I’m writing this because of the misguided opinion of some believers that to not defend modern national Israel is in some way to be disobedient to God. This is to ascribe to modern Israel a divine sanction that is improper. I’m not saying we should not be allies with Israel, I’m just saying it should have nothing to do with her being the Israel of God, because, as I just demonstrated, she is not. She, at the current time, is a socialist, atheist, state that does not even practice the minimum requirements of Old Testament religious life. She is a civil organization of people just like every other modern state. Better than some, worse than others, ordinary, and man-made in every way. U.S. foreign policy shouldn’t be based on a bad theological position.

But, let’s say I’m wrong about everything I have written here. For the sake of argument, let’s assume I am. Should we give Israel money and arms? Should we claim to be her defender and say that without us she will perish? If you believe the modern nation of Israel is the Israel of God, then you should be very opposed to us engaging in that type of relationship. Why? Because God forbids Israel to engage in covenants of defense and not trust in Him alone for their defense.

 

Isaiah 31:1-5

[1] Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! [2] And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. [3] The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. [4] For thus the LORD said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. [5] Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.”

 

I love the Israeli people, and pray that God brings them to see His love for them in the face of Christ Jesus. To them the prophets came, of them the Messiah was born. But that is where their advantage ends. God loves all men, and we should wisely follow His example, seeking peace and pursuing it. This does not mean we cannot justly defend ourselves, or offer defense to the defenseless. But it does mean we would be wise to not ascribe divine attributes to modern Israel. Or, on the other hand, if we do believe Israel to be the divine nation of God, that we not provide money and arms for her defense, tempting her to deny her God, and become the cause of her judgment. Interestingly, both positions should lead us to the same foreign policy philosophy, non-intervention.

 

The Evangelical Libertarian

Peter Schiff from 2006 and Today…… Will We Listen?

Peter Schiff from 2006 and Today…… Will We Listen?

Peter Schiff in 2006, nobody listened. Watch the clips in sequence.

 

Peter Schiff in 2014, will we listen this time around?

The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism

The End of Cuba’s Double Despotism: Communism Internally and Sanctions Externally” by Rev. Robert A. Sirico

This is a great response to the criticism heard generally from the right regarding normalizing relations with Cuba. Is normalizing relations with Cuba dishonoring to the memory of those who perished in the ocean attempting to come to the U.S.? Would it be better to allow people to board a plane to the U.S. or should Cubans be forced to continue to cross shark infested waters to come here? The author does a very good job of answering these questions delicately and frankly. A rare combination.

The Death of the Dollar is Coming

Death of the Dollar

Over the last week the Russian Ruble has crashed nearly 40%. Due to European and American sanctions, Russia is unable to do the things economically necessary to right the ship. In step the Chinese who have a bi-lateral currency agreement with Russia, partially created to be able to help each other in currency crisis scenarios.  China and Russia are also part of a larger currency bloc called BRICS. The BRICS nations are Brazil, India, China, and South Africa. These nations have come together to introduced a new currency, and to open development banks in Africa and in other parts of the world in order to encourage economic growth and trade. Incidentally, the GDP of these 5 nations is currently greater than the GDP of the G7 nations. China has the second largest economy in the World. Why am I telling you all this? Because, “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”, as my grandmother used to say. Translated, we better be ready to receive the same treatment from them in the future. Or as the Bible says, “What you sow, that shall you also reap”. (Gal 6:7b)

When the U.S. throws its weight around financially through devastating economic sanctions, it causes other nations to take notice and wonder if they are next. They begin to look for ways to secure their peoples financial future. In order to protect themselves, they begin to make plans to use a currency other than the dollar. If the U.S. cannot restrict their trade through sanctions made possible by the dollar being the reserve currency, they don’t have to worry about U.S. sanctions, and they are then free to conduct business as they please. This is exactly what the BRICS nations are working to try and do, de-dollarize the world. This would have massive economic effects on the U.S. and would put us in a position to have the same sanctions leveled against us in the future. I’m not excusing Russian incursions into the Ukraine. I’m not a Chinese sympathizer. I think the Iranian government is loony tunes. But, when you sanction a nation, restrict their trade, and cause them to have to manipulate their currency and interest rates in order to stay afloat, you are hurting not the government as much as the people. Russia is not about to change leaders. But the Russian people, in a single week, saw 40% of their wealth evaporate partly due to U.S. policy. How would you feel? Would you love America and seek to emulate her? You would not. You would think she was evil and seek to distance yourself from her. Your friends and allies would feel the same way.  And that is how global sentiment is changed. Believe it or not, some of the people groups in the world that hate us have legitimate reasons. They hate us because we have done great harm to them personally. We have starved their children so that we can say we “look strong” in the eyes of some petty dictator. Has this posture worked in the past? Take Cuba for instance. 90 miles from our coast and we didn’t talk to them for nearly 50 years!? Did sanctions helped topple Fidel Castro? No, they allowed Castro to blame the U.S. for the poverty of his people. We likely prolonged his rule, and pushed him further into the arms of our then enemy, the Soviet Union. Why could we not have talked with them? Traded with them? Interacted with them? Been an example to them? I think President Obama is one of the most inept leaders our nation has ever had. But I personally support normalizing relations with Cuba. My enemies never listen to me, but with my friends, I have influence. That’s partly what friendship is, and friendship is always more profitable (not just economically) than war.

The fact is, the dollar as the world reserve currency has been a golden goose for the U.S.. We could print all the dollars we want and export them to countries like China in currency and bond swaps. We’ve been able to paper over all our economic problems and not worry about hyper-inflation because we could export those dollars. Billions of U.S. dollars are held in nations all over the world because they have to have them in order to buy oil and function as trading partners. But when we act like a globally bully, we drive the nations of the world to begin to consider safe guarding themselves from us and our financial shenanigans. I fear we are doing what the cottager did in Aesop’s Fable. We are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. We should have chosen friendship and good will. Because of our strong armed tactics there is a day coming, sooner than most Americans think, when the east will throw off the dollar as a reserve currency. China has already stopped buying our bonds. It is likely in 2015 that we will see the Chinese Yuan be included in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket. It is also likely that the U.S. will lose its veto power at the IMF very soon as well. The world has grown tired of purchasing our debt, being punished by our currency manipulation, and our other financial games. Be wise and position yourself and your family accordingly my friends. The roller coaster you are seeing in the markets right now is only the beginning. Financial crisis cometh. And it is by our own hand.

 

Proverbs 22:3

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.

For further reading on the subject of the IMF, Russia, and China’s position on a global currency and de-dollarization. Brandon Smith’s articles on the subject are indispensable.

IMF Now Ready to Slam the Door on the U.S. and the Dollar by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market blog

Or watch Jim Rickards allude to the IMF taking over the monetary system here

Jim Rickards Predicts QE4 and an IMF Takeover of the Monetary System

 

 

Still Voting Republican?

I have a quick question to ask you dear reader before I retire to bed this fine Sabbath eve.  Why in the world are you still voting Republican?  I’m not saying you should vote Libertarian, I often don’t.  Some of those dudes are the crazy big L libertines that just want to live immorally and have the whole thing sanctified.  I am not opposed to voting Republican, I sometimes do.  I guess I’m asking why do you exclusively vote Republican?  Are you carried away by a party spirit?  Are you a pragmatic that believes unless you are winning you are losing?  Why then?

Is it because they want to cut taxes and shrink the size of government?  Because that has not been the case.  Reagan did not shrink the size of government, he grew it.  He cut taxes and grew revenue, but then he spent more than he took in and grew the deficit.  He actually, while being miles better than that kooky Carter guy, just happened to be the tallest guy in a room full of dwarves.  I loved Reagan, and I do still revere him.  But let’s face it, he ran as a small government little L libertarian and turned out to be a guy who loved government and grew it.

Surely George Herbert Walker Bush shrank the size of government.  I am actually trying not to fall out of my chair laughing about this one.  Not only did he not shrink the size of government, but we are still reading his lips about not raising taxes.  Perhaps W cut taxes and government.  Well he did sort of cut taxes, but government growth exploded under compassionate conservatism, which was really no conservatism at all.  He allowed and agreed with this awful Keynesian money printing fiasco we find ourselves in now.

Here is the ugly truth.  Under both parties government grows.  Under both parties taxes are raised.  Under both parties regulations increase.  Under both parties money is printed to cover their profligate spending and inflation is spawned.  Why would you choose the lesser of two evils?  As an Evangelical Christian, why would you choose evil at all?

Well, perhaps it is because Republicans choose better Supreme Court Justices.  Nope, not the case.  John Roberts gave us the deciding vote for Obamacare and pretty much helped the State write their case.  Sandra Day O’Connor was a Reagan appointee, Kennedy as well.  Stevens, who recently retired, was a George H. Bush appointee.  On privacy and state powers the whole lot of them have been abismal.  Approving of FISA Courts, Patriot Acts, NDAA, the list goes on.

In closing, Republicans don’t cut taxes, don’t cut regulations, don’t shrink the size of government, don’t stop money printing, and don’t appoint good Supreme Court Justices (if there is such a thing).  So why would you give them your allegiance?  George Washington, our first and perhaps greatest president I believe hit the nail on the head, when he said,

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Yeah…….you know he was right.  Which means you now know I am too!  So get in good company, join me (and George Washington) as I throw off the shackles of this two party nonsense and pursue Liberty!  Liberty from big federal government.  Liberty from regulations.  Liberty from burdensome and unwarranted taxation.  Liberty from unjust courts.  Liberty from state sponsored violence (fine and imprisonment for invented crimes like selling raw milk or owning a business without a license).  Liberty from the State.  Let’s abandon this prison of our own creation.  Let’s do it peacefully, but let’s do it.  I long to breath the air of freedom.  Do you still think the Republican Party is going to bring about the dream of Liberty?  Psh……. In the words of that immortal philosopher Steven Tyler, “Dream on!”

 

The Law of God: To Love Me Is To Leave Me Alone

What is the defining principle of Libertarianism? No, it is not approving of homosexuality and pot smoking, despite what many believe. The defining principle of Libertarianism is the “non-aggression principle.”  Simply stated, this principle means that we Libertarians do not believe that an individual should ever be forced through either violence or the threat of violence to do a thing. We believe individuals are created free, and the only way a society can be organized morally is through voluntary associations, not forced ones. When we say we believe individuals should be free from violence or the threat of violence, we include freedom from State violence as well. Wear your seat belt, or we’ll forcibly remove your financial property (fine you), is violence. Pay us a portion of your financial property (taxes), or we will send the police to arrest you, is a violent threat. Don’t sell raw milk to other individuals in a private transaction, or we’ll send a swarm of government agents (which may include an FDA SWAT Team), is violence. We believe that all violence, except that done to repel an aggressor, is wrong, and beneath the dignity of mankind.  And guess what? God agrees with us.

 

There are two great commandments found in Scripture. The first and greatest is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is like it, you shall love you neighbor as your self.” (Matthew 22:37-40) How does the Bible define loving your neighbor? The best answer to this question is found in the second table of the Law of God, where we are instructed in our duties to our fellow man.

law of God

  1. Honor your father and your mother
  2. You shall not kill
  3. You shall not commit adultery
  4. You shall not steal
  5. You shall not bear false witness
  6. You shall not covet

 

First, when we look at the fifth commandment, we do see implied respect for those in governing authority. I am a limited statist Libertarian, which means I see a role for the state to play, but it is a very small role. We should honor those in authority over us. I want to expand on this more fully, but I will wait to do so in another article.  It’s important that Christians Libertarians learn to integrate Libertarian theory with the presence of governing Biblical authorities. It will suffice for me to say at this point, that the huge, regulatory, all encompassing state we currently live in, is not the “servant of God,” described in Romans 13 as, “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Governments do not create right and wrong. Someone who is a “wrongdoer”, is someone who has violated a moral law, hence they have murdered, broken up a home, stolen, defrauded, or conspired to do those things. The State doesn’t have the power to make up morality, and wherever the State violates or goes beyond the bounds of natural Law (moral law) its authority evaporates, then and there, in the eyes of Almighty God.

What about the rest of the commands in the second table of the Law? Notice there is something very distinct about them. What do they all prohibit? They all prohibit aggression and violence. You shall not kill. Don’t do anything to violate the sacred possession of a person’s body. Mankind possesses life, that which animates the body, it is a precious gift from God, and it shall not be taken.

 

You shall not commit adultery. Sexuality is also a gift from God, but we are not to use and manipulate one another for pleasure’s sake. Don’t damage families by stealing the affections of a mate. Adultery extends to fornication, and fornication is sex outside of sacred covenant. In other words, sons and daughters (unmarried) are not to try and sexually manipulate one another. Adultery and fornication are violent acts against the family, which is the basic building block of any society.  So much poverty and violence are the result of adultery and sexual license.  Prisons are filled with fatherless children, who are now men, with fatherless children themselves.

 

You shall not steal. God is in favor of private property. How can there be a prohibition against theft, unless there is the prior existence of the right of ownership? Once a man has mixed his labor with the natural resources found in the world, those resources, and the medium of exchange (money) gained from the sale of his labor, or the resources he creates with his labor, are his alone, no one else has a right to them. You shall not use violence or manipulation to remove a man’s property, it is his, and it is sacred and inviolable.

 

You shall not lie. You cannot aggress against someone to defraud, or to slander their character. A person’s integrity is also a sacred and inviolable possession. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches”, and we shall not do any thing with our words to detract from a person’s good name and reputation.

 

Finally, we shall not covet. Restated, we shall not even nurse a desire in our heart to take what belongs to another. Whether we are the State, a private institution, or an individual, the Law of God is the perfect Law of Liberty (James 1:25). In order to obey it and love others, we must leave them alone. That includes the State. The State has no more right to violence and threats of violence than any other institution or individual. The only Biblically moral society, will be a Libertarian one, based on the principle of non-aggression, a non-aggression that is rooted firmly, as we have seen, in the Law of God.

 

The Evangelical Libertarian

leave me alone