Friday, March 04, 2016

Why Romney Fell on his Sword

In the old times of war a leader would many times commit suicide rather than be captured by a hostile force. It was called falling on one's sword. 

King Saul did this:  1 Samuel 31:4-5

Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.

He has been roundly criticized, called a loser, despised and rejected.  It's what happens when you commit open political suicide.  He will never again be held in any esteem. Yet it was far more important to him, because he loves this country, to bring what he sees as truth.  While what he said was stinging and may not make any difference to anyone, it was what he believed he had to do.  To remain silent was not possible.

He is dead to most of the Republican party and to many even that oppose Donald Trump.  Dead by suicide politically.

Yet he was the only one who could practically bring this message.  He earned the right by having once carried the Republican nomination.  McCain is the other.  Bush might have but he didn't.  I wish he had. 

So while many are angry, the message needed to be given. That Trump is a con man.  That he is ignorant of much that matters to be President.  That he is not that good at what he does.  That he is crude and abusive.  If he is crude and abusive as a candidate, what happens if he ends up on the national stage.  He does not have the temperament to be President.

SO for that I thank Governor Romney for his sacrifice. I thank God there is courage left. I know it has and will cost him dearly.  Yet he was the right man to do the right thing.  To stay silent in the face of insipid evil is worse than treason.

 “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Importance of Disclosing This Immediately #NeverTrump By Erick Erickson

I will not vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States even if he is the Republican nominee.

He is an authoritarian blending nationalist and tribal impulses, which historically has never worked out well for the nation that goes in that direction or the people in that nation.

He will not win in November. He will not win because he turns off a large number of Republicans; he turns off women; he turns off hispanic voters; he turns off black voters; and the blue collar voters who support him are not a sufficient base of support to carry him over the finish line. His supporters who claim he carried hispanic voters in Nevada are deluding themselves. Nevada’s turnout of hispanic voters was less than one percent of Nevada’s hispanic population, amounting to around 100 people in the exit polling with a margin of error of at minimum ±10%.

Trump is a liberal who has supported big government, interventionist policies. He defends Planned Parenthood, says he can cut deals in Washington, and believes in a socialist government run healthcare scheme.

At a time when so much is on the line for people of faith and conservatives, Donald Trump believes judges sign bills. He said so himself in the Houston, TX debate, while lying about the jurisprudence of Justice Samuel Alito.

Trump is also a con-artist and the media, which has built his campaign is going to destroy his campaign. After he secures the Republican nomination, the media will trot out every victim and perceived victim of Trump’s actions. All the people hurt by repeated strategic bankruptcies, all the people swindled by Trump University, and anyone who got food poisoning from Trump steaks will be in a 24/7 cavalcade on national television.

By the time the media and Democrats, but I repeat myself, are done with Trump, he will be radioactive.

Donald Trump will not win in November. Period. End of story.

But, on the off chance Satan pulls a grand slam out of hell and Trump were to do it, he would be an authoritarian despot, deeply destructive to the ideals of this nation and the constitutional principles of the republic, and he would destroy the remains of the Republican Party and much of the conservative movement as conservatives whore themselves out to be close to power.

In fact, I dare say that as if Trump secures the nomination, some of the first people to come out and demand we all kiss his ring will be the people who immediately came out to attested to the credibility and competence of Harriet Miers. They will demand our fealty to a man who thinks judges sign bills.
It is absolutely important to disclose that we will not support Trump in the general election now. It shows that we are not sore losers whose nominee preference did not win, but rather are stating that if Trump does get the nomination, we will not support him and are making our declaration with enough time to stop him if his supporters listen to reason.

For those who say Trump can beat Hillary, it gives them time to decide if they can beat Hillary without us.

Explicitly stating our opposition, before he secures the nomination, will not stop people from saying we cost him the nomination. But in the historic record it will be clear we saw the rise of an authoritarian jackass, rejected him, and gave people ample time to heed the warnings before jumping off the cliff.

I will not vote for Donald Trump. Many people I know feel the same way. So as you go vote for Donald Trump, know you are casting your lot with a man who cannot beat the Democrats and who will lose support of long time Republicans in the process.

If Trump supporters choose to proceed, history will show what they will never concede — his defeat is on them, not us. With the rise of an authoritarian menace to our republic, it is important to go on record now, while he can be stopped, that we will play no part in his rise.

Shame on Christians Who Support Donald Trump By Erick Erickson | February 28, 2016, 12:27pm

Let’s dismiss the fact that Donald Trump’s ex-wife once said he kept a book with Hitler’s speeches by his bed. Let’s just dismiss it because perhaps it was said in anger.

But it does track with Donald Trump’s performance today. He tweeted out a quote from Mussolini and when called on it by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Trump refused to walk it back and quoted Hillary Clinton’s “what difference does it make?”

Then, on CNN, Donald Trump refused to immediately denounce the KKK or David Duke, acting as if he did not know who David Duke was.

Christian, if you are supporting a man who says he has never felt the need to repent despite affairs, adultery, and multiple marriages and who quotes Mussolini and won’t denounce the KKK, there is seriously something wrong with you.

How terrible it is that you are are willing to gain the world with Trump and lose your soul in the process.

And shame on Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr. for giving Christian veneer to Donald Trump.
The one saving grace in all of this is that more and more polling data shows that the more a person is a regular church goer the more the person is likely to oppose Trump. A lot of people who call themselves “evangelical” or “Christian” are meaning it in the cultural sense, not the actual sense.
They, like us all, will one day be called to account. They need prayer.

The Negative Rate Disaster

The Negative Rate Disaster
By Geoffrey Pike | Friday, March 4, 2016
I’ll make you a deal: You can give me your money, and then I’ll give you back most of it next month. Or you can give it to me for 10 years, and I will give all of it back to you in a decade as long as you make small, periodic payments to me.

Who in their right mind would take this deal? Apparently there are some people in Europe and Japan who are doing this. This is the world of negative interest rates.

It was just over a month ago that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced its new policy of negative interest rates. Specifically, the central bank is imposing a negative rate of 0.1% on excess reserves held by banks. This is supposed to get the banks to lend money in order to jumpstart the economy.
This idea of negative rates goes against everything we have learned about money. An interest rate is supposed to be a reflection on the price of money in relation to time preference.

If you ask someone if he would prefer a dollar today or a dollar a year from now, most people are going to take the dollar today. Even if you may not spend it until a year from now, at least you have the option.

If you were offered one hundred apples to eat, you might prefer to have one a day for the next 100 days instead of getting them all at once, assuming that they would be fresh each day. That is because apples will go rotten. If you get 100 of them in one day, you better quickly sell them or find people to give them away to.

But money is not the same as apples. Money does not go rotten (setting aside what central bank inflation may do). You can save money. You can buy goods and services with it today, or you can wait for another time in the future to buy. This is the luxury of an advanced civilization with the use of money and a high division of labor.

Imagine a world a long time ago where people bartered goods and services. Imagine a baker with many loaves of bread having to find various people to trade with. It would be a nightmare without a common medium of exchange. It is much easier to sell the bread for some form of money that is widely acceptable. Then the baker can buy whatever he wants at the time of his choosing.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Cash is the currency of freedom

Larry Summers wrote recently in The Washington Post
that the $100 bill needs to go. The reason, he says, is that it’s a
favorite of criminals, along with the 500 euro note, which is likely to be discontinued. The New York Times editorialized in agreement, writing: “Getting
rid of big bills will make it harder for criminals to do business and
make it easier for law enforcement to detect illicit activity. ... There
is no need for large-denomination currency. Britain’s top bill is the
50-pound note ($72), which has been perfectly sufficient. The United
States stopped distributing $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills in
1969. There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big
bills should create few problems.”

Reading this got me to thinking: What is a $100 bill worth now, compared to 1969? According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator online,
a $100 bill today has the equivalent purchasing power of $15.49 in 1969
dollars. Likewise, in 1969, a $100 bill had the equivalent purchasing
power of $645.55 in today’s dollars.

So even if we brought back the discontinued $500 bill, it wouldn’t have the purchasing power today that a $100 bill had in 1969,
when larger denominations were discontinued. And carrying around a $100
bill today is basically like carrying around a $20 in 1969.

although inflation isn’t running very high at the moment, this trend
will only continue. If the next few decades are like the last few, paper
money in current denominations will become basically useless.

Glenn Reynolds: Cash is the currency of freedom

The devil you know is still a devil, and worse yet: you don't really know him at all.

  A different sort of man has arise and grabbed the raw public molar
with his rhetorical wrench. To participate in the usual calculations is
to debase yourself. You may regard this as necessary for the triumph of
certain ideas you hope Trump will deign to let live or allow to
flourish, but you know that the vessel into which your pour these hopes
is cracked and leaches lead, and that by supporting him for one thing
you tacitly enable all the others. You hope this bargain shores up the
timbers that keep the Republic standing.

I understand this, and I don't condemn it. I will not shout
BEGONE, SINNER at friends who will go into the voting booth and chew
their tongue and pull the lever. From the start of the Trump surge,
though, I've heard people say "I can't stand him, but if he's the
nominee I'll vote for him, because Hillary's worse," and the sentiment
always felt like the hooked-half of a Velcro strip laid on a fine film
of oil; it found no purchase in my heart or head. I couldn't see myself
ticking that box. That was months ago. Blustery utterances now come
daily, brash, crass, astonishing in their shameless ignorance, blared
out to crowds that howl delight because another face has been added to
list of mugs to be shoved in the mud.

The illiberalism of the Trump alt-right to bloody the nose of
the media is the exact mirrored image of the left's desire to ban "hate
speech." Like all the other things that make America unique, we took a
shared belief in these values for granted until the clever people
realized there was a way to reposition rights as burdens, as

The person who figures out a good way to sell you that usually has the solution, and it feels liberating.

To vote for Trump is to validate; to vote for Trump is to
participate. He is a crass, gutter-tongued, vulgar man whose self-regard
blinds his ability to understand his own ignorance. A man who casually
encourages the worst, enables the mediocre, and wafts aloft cartoon
concepts of American greatness with gusts of flatulent banalities. It
takes a certain kind of historical illiterate not to realize his facial
postures are literally aping a second-rate Italian fascist.

Sorry for taking the long way; could have just linked and
agreed. But the author's points deserve interrogation. Short version:
no. Long version: hell no. On the off chance history makes marks in a
ledger: I will not support Trump if he is the nominee. I will not vote
for him. The devil you know is still a devil, and worse yet: you don't
really know him at all.