Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What “sells” indicates health of a culture

Urban Meyer, formerly the head football coach with the University of Florida, is undeniably one of America’s great coaches and a good model of a human being.

Meyer’s recent hiring by Ohio State for $4 million per year, plus bonuses, six-year contract got my attention.

I am no Occupy Wall Street punk who wants to deny anyone the ability to earn as much as he can.  I don’t deny the right of Meyer earning one of the top salaries in his field.  And I don’t deny the universities the right to establish sports programs as major “profit centers” to help fund their educational programs.

So what is my beef?  It is the value our culture places on various skills and fields.  Here, for example, is the value our culture places on college football coaches.

USA TODAY College Football Coach Salary Data


Head Coach

Total Pay

Max Bonus



Mack Brown




Nick Saban




Bob Stoops



Ohio State

Urban Meyer




Les Miles




Kirk Ferentz




Bobby Petrino




Gene Chizik




Brady Hoke




Will Muschamp




Mark Richt



Compare this with the value our culture places on teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors, police, and our military.  Not even the best and brightest in these fields come close to the earnings of the top salaried college football coaches.

Football attracts patrons and advertisers who pay the big bucks because there is a demand for the “product.”  Why isn’t there as great a demand for great school principles?  For great head doctors of hospitals?  For great military leaders?  For the great leaders of churches?

Yes, the salaries are based on the cultural reality of what sells.  My beef is “what sells.”  Don’t you agree that a culture is in trouble when entertainment and games sell for much higher prices than the core of what makes a great culture:  Education, health, religion, and defense?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Movie warning: J. Edgar

The perverts on the Hollywood left have been masterful on this one.  Not only have they assumed all the innuendo about J. Edgar Hoover’s alleged perversities in this movie, they hammer them into the viewers psyche by making these perversities the major theme.

In fact one statement toward the conclusion of this smear, portrayed as an objective 3rd party conclusion to Hoover’s life, is this line which I loosely quote:

“Love will flourish once the unnatural divisions of mankind can be overcome.”

The “unnatural divisions of mankind” that are referred to in the context of this statement is the distinction between male and female, and the gender roles to which our religion, culture and morality have historically ascribed .  In other words, those who abide by the heterosexual standard are the perverts, and those who eliminate those “horrible divisions” are the real heroes.

Is that a quote from something Hoover actually pronounced or is it the creation of the movie producers?  Since the movie proclaimed that virtually all of Hoover’s secret documents were destroyed, it is most likely a made up Hollywood wish.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fewer children caused by fewer farms?

I remember my anthropology, sociology, and urban geography texts from a few decades ago in unison proclaiming:

With the decline of family farming it was no longer necessary to have large families to work on the farm, and thus entered the era of fewer children and smaller families.

Now at a safe distance from agenda-driven textbooks, I can proclaim that the reasons they gave for the decline in family size was a bunch of bull crap.  It was an agenda driven by the society-planning lust of the Zero Population Growth (ZPG) movement.  Remember Paul Ehrlich and The Population Bomb?   We will be living belly to belly, the earth will run out of resources,  and we will run out of food and die of slow, agonizing starvation.  That was the scare-demographics of the 60’s.  That was gospel.  When it was written, it was all the rage. Look at that book on Amazon today – most reviewers giving it one star with one reviewer correctly proclaiming “it can’t survive hindsight.”

Today we find ourselves in the US near zero population growth - on the edge of an unsustainably low birth rate.  At the same time native Europe has gone over the precipice into negative growth while the immigrant populations from impoverished North Africa and the Middle East, primarily Muslims, are burgeoning with 8 and 10 child families.

So, what caused the ZPG fad?  And is farming’s decline and industrialization’s growth the primary cause of the decline in the birth rate in the US?

I contend that the sociologist’s claim that families were large so there could be more cheap farm labor and families became smaller because family farms were displaced by industry is less relevant than they claimed.  It is true that many went to the cities for factory work.  And now those jobs are in the cities because of finance, banking, information technology, retailing, and a myriad of other employment opportunities.  But do any of these represent legitimate reasons for moms and dads producing fewer children?

Certainly there are other forms of family enterprises besides farming.  Farming isn’t the only enterprise that requires unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled labor.  Restaurants, retail shops, numerous forms of small scale manufacturing, insurance, finance, real estate, construction; in fact dozens of forms of businesses are appropriate to be run by large families.  These businesses would benefit by a large tight-knit family every bit as much as a family farm would benefit.  What’s wrong with a few kids sweeping the floors?  A few teenagers waiting on customers and stocking the shelves, loading and unloading trucks?

So, getting the decline of farming out of the way as an excuse for falling birth rates, what else may be the cause?  The ZPG movement was one.   And what was behind that movement?  Could it be the same progressive, socialist, government planning and control-driven agenda that we have a renewed awareness of today – part of the top-down government-directed social planning liberals thrive on?  The “big government knows best” mentality? 

Is it the decline of religion in our country that taught “be fruitful and multiply?”  After all, most of the largest mainline denominations are declining in membership, and worse, their remaining membership has a declining belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.  So all the Biblical admonitions regarding procreation and the high value of the family are somewhat out of favor.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  To distort a phrase:  What religion has joined together, our lack of faith has cast asunder.  The decline of personal responsibility, reliance and initiative, the decreasing importance of the family,  the increasing reliance on government, and the decline of  faith and the church have all contributed to our declining birth rate.

Every change has consequences.  Not all consequences are good, and not all are intended.  We see the results, and the unintended consequences.  Jobs that have to be filled by illegal immigrants.  Other cultures and languages overrunning our own.  Such a dependence on illegal immigrants that we are politically paralyzed from taking action to stem the tide, even in an era of high unemployment, when millions of legitimate citizens are without work.  The demographics of many European countries are such that there are not enough young productive workers to support the huge and growing retirement populations in their socialist, entitlement societies.  That is a significant reason for Europe’s financial difficulties, along with their refusal to acknowledge and address this problem.  And this is the reason why there will be a shock-shift in European culture and religious influence from their comfort zone of centuries, to the shock of Islam and barbaric cultures of North Africa and the Middle East.

The US is not far behind.  It has the benefit of looking at Europe and seeing itself in that mirror 10 or 15 years from now.  We gave our kids over to government to educate.  We gave our health care over to government to heal, we gave our retirement obligations over to government to provide, we gave our moral standards over to government to bless.  Even the ability to procreate has been relinquished to government in the form of sanctioning gay marriage and abortion rights – both destroyers of families and sustainable population growth.

Don’t blame our failure to reproduce on our shift from agrarian to industrial, to an information economy.  Blame it on our selfish desire to reduce our responsibilities, to avoid God,  to avoid work, to marry late,  to avoid morality, to abort, to be entertained, to be uninformed, to have “someone else do it”, and our automatic expectation that "it is the job of government.”


I have received a few comments on this post.  One commenter got the impression from the post that I inferred a “conspiracy.”  This is my reply:

No, not a conspiracy. That relieves too much responsibility from our culture - it shifts the blame. It is an easy "out."

What has happened is the normal course of a successful society as it becomes more and more self-satisfied, comfortable, and complacent. We get bored. We become more "progressive". In our comfort zone we are confident enough to experiment more - to stray away from the historically tried and true.

The part that appears to be planned or a conspiracy because it occurs so universally at the same time is the "progressive" component of our culture on the order of the social planning in China - except we use more subtle means without the teeth. This comes primarily from the public schools, universities and liberal social media which accomplish nearly as much as the Chinese government but instead via peer pressure. It's "cool to do X"; it's "not cool to do Y". You can easily figure what X and Y are. They are usually opposites of what our culture has traditionally considered to be immoral and moral. The old tradition: Begin raising a family when you're in your early 20's; the new: Don't raise a family until after you establish a career - maybe by 35. The old: Don't have sex until you're married; The new: Have sex before you're married. After that the "new morality" became "don't have sex until you're 17"; now the "new cool" has become "have sex when you're 14." Old morality: Homosexuality was nearly universally considered as taboo a perversion as bestiality; New morality: Anyone who publicly opines that homosexuality is a perversion is ostracised if not charge with a hate crime. You get the drift.

No, not a conspiracy, but just as effective as if it were.

Another suggested it was a conspiracy via the secret consequences of fluoridated water.  This was my reply:

There are a number of reasons for a declining birthrate that are much more obvious than the effects of flouride in the water.

Isn't it obvious that the following would have a substantial, direct negative effect on birth rates?

    • Millions of preborn infants being aborted each year.
    • Millions of couples choosing not to have children until they are financially established well into their thirties.
    • Millions of couples choosing to have only one child or no children at all so they can spend more on themselves.
    • The very idea of marriage being discredited as an obsolete religious ritual
    • The very unreproductive gay lifestyle and gay marriage being glamorized and promoted by the media and protected by the law.
    • Sexual release being primarily a recreational activity than a procreation activity; and promoted more by pornography than by love and a desire to procreate.

Don't you think these more obvious things are the real reasons?

If flouride in the water were known to cause selfishness and immorality, THEN you may be on to something.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bachman according to Barnhardt

Michelle Bachman’s judgment is not worthy of her presidency.  Nobody calls out her lack of judgment better than Ann Barnhardt.  As Ann says in so many words, if you have to rely on moral degenerates to energize your campaign, you may as well kiss it off.

On the Bachmann-Fallon Incident

Posted by Ann Barnhardt - November 23, AD 2011 8:59 PM MST

So, Ann, who are you supporting for President?

NO ONE. It's like a pageant has broken out on the fantail of the Titanic amongst the oblivious at 2:00am on the 15th with the winner to be announced upon docking at the port of New York. That's what this election cycle is like.

But just a quick word about the Michelle Bachmann appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show on NBC, wherein Fallon's band played a song called "Lying @$$ Bi***" to introduce Bachmann.

It goes without saying that Fallon, his band leader and production team are moral degenerates. That's obvious. What I want to talk about is Bachmann.

Okay. You want to be the President of the United States of America, Michelle? You want to be the Commander in Chief? You want to be the leader of the free (?) world? Um, if you can't see an ambush coming from Jimmy Flipping Fallon, who is a former SNL cast member (after the Phil Hartman era which is when SNL stopped being funny), and thus, by definition, a flaming liberal with no class who is wholly reliant on adolescent gutter humor, do you really think that you're qualified to be the CiC? I'm serious. If you and your staff aren't smart enough or self-aware enough to figure out that you don't go walking into obvious set-ups with slack-jawed TV talk show hosts, then do you REALLY think you are going to be able to go up against Putin or the ChiComs? Hon, if you get rolled by JIMMY FALLON, then you won't stand a chance against Hu Jintao.

But then, the very fact that the gateway to the Oval Office is now kept by the likes of undignified flotsam like Jimmy Fallon and these other TV carney hacks is just more proof that this country is officially, totally and irrevocably screwed.

My name is Ann Barnhardt, and I'm #OccupyingReality.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On the Road to Argentina…

On this Thanksgiving Day in our United States we look at the news and can see how fragile our civilization is.  Our huge deficits, the unwillingness of our Congress to reverse old spending habits, the disdain of our President for the things that made our country prosperous and great, the ignorance and entitlement mentality of the Occupy Wall Street protestors who are clueless about the human qualities it takes to make a great civilization. 

While we have much to be thankful for, we also have a lot of work to do to overcome complacency and fear of how we can so easily lose what we have taken for granted.

This short history of what happened to Argentina is a frighteningly realistic prospect for the United States.  We have fulfilled much of Argentina’s blueprint that led to her failures.

Turn up your volume. 

This is a bit of a quirky video, so if a blue screen doesn’t come up, please hit your “refresh” button on your browser.

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina…

A first had account of what Argentina’s society became in 2000 after its moral, political and fiscal abuses is amply portrayed in the book “Surviving the Economic Collapse – Based on First Hand Experience of the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina” by Fernando Aguirre.
Below are three audio compilations of the views of Occupy participants and promoters assembled by Glenn Beck.  He did this to share with his family.  These clips chillingly show the direction we are headed.  HERE is the main page these are taken from.
For those who would like an alternative “Don’t Cry” to Madonna’s, here is a great one…

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“Tea Party” and “Occupy” Movements: How similar?

Have you heard claims that the Occupy movement is very much like the Tea Party?  Strange - it seems only the commentators on the left attempt to reach such conclusions.  What similarities does the left cite?
  • They are both large, politically motivated groups.  This is partially true.  They are both politically motivated.  But a deeper look at the Occupy movement reveals most participants are  clueless joy riders and riff raff participating in anarchist activities with no understanding of their purpose except to disrupt the lives of average citizens in the vicinity of their protests.
  • They both demonstrate.  True, but look at the characteristics of the way they each demonstrate.  There is a day and night contrast.
  • They are both concerned with corruption. Both are concerned about government and corporate corruption; the Occupy movement is more concerned about corporate existence.
  • They are both spontaneous.  Actually, most leftists portray the Tea Party movement as artificial; Astroturf, they call it.  The fact is, the Occupy movement has been planned for many months by a core group of Marxists.  The formation of the Tea Party was a true grass roots event.
That is the extent of similarities.
Now let’s take a look at the differences between the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement:
Occupy Wall Street
The Tea Party
Who planned and formed it Marxists and radicals who hate America and desire revolution Conservatives who love America and want to reform it

Personal responsibility Little.  Relies on government for most needs

A core focus of the group.
Patriotism/love of country Dislikes America, the economic system and the political system; proposes revolution Proposes reform, not revolution.  Strongly exhibits patriotism.  How many American flags at Occupy events?  At Tea Party events?

Constitution Revolution is promoted which would replace the constitution Promotes returning to constitutional principles.

Spontaneous Organized, funded, and promoted by a core group of leftists and Marxists over the previous year Spontaneous alliances resulting from expansion of government into mandatory universal health care

Civil disobedience This is the core tactic of the movement; promotes anarchy Totally abstained from civil disobedience as a tactic; promotes order; speeches and education are primary tactics

Violence/arrests Significant violence and hundreds of arrests

No violence; no arrests
Littering/sanitation Demonstration sites became hovels of litter, poor sanitation and infectious disease

Demonstration sites left cleaner than found.
Capitalism/free enterprise Capitalism and free enterprise are the major targets of the movement Promotes capitalism and free enterprise as core values

Big vs. smaller government Want bigger government; more governement spending, welfare, and entitlements Want smaller government, less government spending and fewer entitlements

Marxism/income redistribution Promotes Marxist ideals and income redistribution Disdain Marxist principles; promotes principles of personal freedoms and responsibility

Respect for laws Little respect for law; incites violence through provocation, civil disobedience, and anarchy

Great respect for laws; no provocations; promotes ideal of “nation of laws.”
Knowledge of history/governance Great majority of demonstrators cannot express a coherent or rational reason for the protests or have a concept of historical forms of governance and their consequences. Most have a significant understanding of our government compared to competing forms.  This is the reason why they choose to promote a reformation of it - to more closely adhere to its founding principles.
So, there you have it.  Is the left correct?  Are these movements pretty much alike?  Oh yeah, as much as darkness and light.   This comparison is hardly “fair and balanced”, but it is the truth.  Give me the truth over “fair and balanced” any time.

Gingrich preparing for attacks–new web site

I know some of us are taking a second look at Newt Gingrich after Herman Cain’s recent stumble.  (We can be pretty fickle, can’t we.)

So, for those of us who are giving Gingrich a look and would like to intelligently come to his defense, he has a new website called “Answering the Attacks.”  Take a look at that site and book mark it.  It gives the Gingrich side of all the attacks he’s likely to face in the coming months.

He has written more books and made more speeches than any other candidate.  His previous words are a double edged sword:  They can be used to promote or attack.  He is preparing for attacks.

Just for the heck of it, here are Newt’s,  Herman’s and Mitt’s official web sites:

Newt Gingrich

Herman Cain

Mitt Romney

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Islam-embracing Al Gore network alert...

During some TV surfing, I came across a documentary titled “Islamophobia” on the “Current” network.  What I saw motivated me to write this blog to inform you of yet another leftist media outlet twisting the truth.

How many of you are aware of this new Al Gore-owned TV and web outlet?”

“Current” is a far left, America-hating, Islam and Marxist-embracing network that distorts facts , dismisses the Islamic threat and demonizes those who have studied and speak out about that threat.

From the Current website about Al Gore:

Former Vice President Al Gore is chairman of Current TV, an Emmy award winning, independently owned cable and satellite television nonfiction network for young people based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism. He also serves as chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing.

About the company:

Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, features the very best in political and news commentary and information programming. Home to the newly launched “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” as well as a number of celebrated programs including “Vanguard,” Current is dedicated to providing insightful analysis of important issues --- and digging deep into real stories to uncover how they affect real people. Current shines a light where other networks won’t dare and boldly explores provocative subjects – opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers.

Now showing on Current TV is a documentary titled “Islamophobia.”  Click HERE to see the trailer.   This Adam Yamaguchi-produced video is a leftist exercise in role reversal, portraying ACT! For America, Pamela Gellar and those of us who have studied and have learned the truth about Islam as dangerous, bigoted Islamophobes.  At the same time it portrays Islam in England and America as a benign non-threat, merely just another “religion” seeking peaceful coexistence.

The facts reveal otherwise.  Current, Gore, and Yamaguchi are blowing smoke, and frankly are seditious sympathizers with and promoters of an ideology that seeks to destroy our country.

Knowing what I know about Islam, the documentary “Islamophobia” is so far in left field that it discredits anything else Gore has to say about anything, and further discredits anything he has to say about his already discredited position on “global warming”.

And guess what. This network also hosts Islam-defending Cenk Uygur and leftist Keith Olbermann.

By the way.  Cenk Uygur was born and raised in a Sunni Muslim family and is a self-described "fervent agnostic".[1][38]  Yes, don’t most taqiyya-inspired Muslims claim they are “fervent” anything except Muslim.

What else do you need to know?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Screwing the 99%

Ok.  Most of us realize that Occupy Wall Street planners and promoters represent Marxists, Socialists, and those who hate and wish to destroy Capitalism.  We understand that most participants are clueless pawns who have little desire to be decent productive citizens or who are leftists who love the idea of forced income redistribution.

The last bit of sympathy for any aspect of that anarchist movement dissolves when I understand what they are actually doing.  They are blindly attacking every American institution that supports our quality of life.  Not only do they target retail stores that our middle class relies on, not only do they target low cost transportation systems (the New York City subway system) that most workers use,  but here is something else to anticipate.

Next week is the Macy’s day parade – an All-American institution that celebrates Thanksgiving.  What do you think the Occupy Wall Street anarchists will do with THAT event?

How many laws do you think have been flaunted by Occupy participants in the dozen or so cities around the country?

How much tax money was spent on the law enforcement required to keep the mobs at bay?

You also need to understand that the Occupy movement is not just a domestic protest.  It is a global Marxist movement.

Study this poster for a moment.  “Mass…Direct Action” is NOT non-violent.  Shutting down cities, streets, transportation, and businesses cannot be non-violent.  The whole movement is a lie.

Look at the bottom text of this poster:  “Resist Austerity”  What does that mean?  Promote endless spending that has long since bankrupted our nation?  Perpetuate handouts so that the masses of able bodied protestors don’t have to work? 

“Recreate our democracy”:  Does that refer to the desires of these protestors to dominate the rest of us?  Pure democracy has been correctly termed “tyranny of the majority.”  Except in this case, the tyranny is being conducted by mobs of ignorant souls who would like to make us believe they represent the majority.  No way!

Here is a website that focuses on OWS events, organizers, and plans.  Use this resource in addition to your other sources of timely information.  I complement you for staying informed.  Spread the word. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy envy, jealousy, and covetousness = Anarchy

I was thumbing through a Forbes and a Smart Money magazine while waiting at a bank this afternoon and several reasons for Occupy Wall Street came to mind.  What did I see that triggered these thoughts?

Ads.  The ads got my attention.  The primary purpose of advertising is to stimulate a strong desire for a product,  service, or idea.  In Smart Money and Forbes, and a dozen magazines and web sites just like them, the proliferation of full page and full color ads are dripping with $10 million Lear Jets, $120k Jaguars, $5k watches whose brands I’ve never heard of, and all manner of materialism that only those whose incomes are a million a year or more could possibly afford.  I would imagine that each ad cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce and twice as much to publish.  It is not just the fact that these advertised products are out of reach of 90% of our population.  It is the visceral feeling of many of us when we view such things is ostentatious, insatiable greed, and material one-upsmanship.  

Envy on one side

Those involved in Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and those who sympathize with them are emotionally impacted by the material display of wealth wagged in their face through both the advertising and the consumption of these wealth-flaunting objects .  What is the unintended consequence of this flaunting of materialism among the 90% of the “have nots?”  Jealousy, envy, and covetousness.  The acting out of many of these envious and jealous souls is socially irresponsible and in many cases unlawful.  The authority figures who  are supposed to be defending society against OWS lawlessness have not taken decisive action because many of these political leaders are sympathetic to the wealth disparity that the occupiers are protesting.

Greed on the other side

Granted, many wealthy individuals do a lot of good – in fact are the engine of prosperity for much of the rest of us.  I have no doubt that most who own the objects of wealth worked hard to earn every penny required to purchase them.  That is not the point.  The point is their decision to flaunt their wealth by their ostentatious display of materialism which many interpret as a form of superiority and taunting of those who haven’t reached their “level” for whatever reason. A good number are self-absorbed extravagant consumers who couldn’t care less about those beneath them.

Moral failures on both sides

This situation can best be described as a two-sided moral failure headed for a collision.  On the side of the wealthy, the moral failure is their material greed and their flaunting thereof.  On the side of the OWS/sympathizers is the moral failure of envy, jealousy, and covetousness.

The morally healthy person on either side of this divide would not act as they do.  The wealthy would not flaunt.  The non-wealthy would not covet.  Sure, government could force a redistribution, but that would not cure the moral conflict.  Redistribution would have equally bad, if not worse consequences, by reducing incentive to be productive (among both the “have mores” and the “have lesses”) and create a collective poverty.

Bottom line:  The confrontation we are seeing is not so much an economic problem; not even so much a political problem.  It is a moral problem.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why deflation is worse than inflation…


Several of us were discussing Harry S. Dent’s new book “The Great Crash Ahead”,  where he pronounces that we are headed toward – not hyper-inflation – but toward an op-ed-esque debilitating deflation.  Scratching our heads in response to the question, “what is so bad about deflation”  and in spite of the opinion of some that, like a dead clock, Harry can be correct two times out of 24, we pursued the answer.   During that discussion I proffered this reason:

When we have an economy like we have in the West where having vast amounts of debt is considered normal, deflation is a very bad thing.  If we had little or no debt, economists would not get nearly as excited about the prospect of deflation.  But here is the reason they do get excited – not just excited, but somewhat panicky.

With inflation, debt is paid off over a period of years with cheaper dollars than if there was no inflation.  So the cost of that debt is actually less than we anticipated when we first took out the loan.  A 30-year mortgage paid off in constant-valued dollars over that period would cost “X”.  But 3% annual inflation over that period makes the total cost considerably less in real value because while the dollar buys less, that “worth less” dollar still has the same ability to pay off the mortgage.  And typically with inflation, incomes rise to some extent to keep pace with inflation.

On the other hand, with deflation, the opposite is true.  Paying off a 30-year mortgage, or paying off any debt, personal or sovereign, costs more because the value of the dollar increases.  So we end up paying off something that should only cost “X” over that 30-year period when in fact because of deflation it costs us X plus Y.  True, the price of other goods and services may decline, but so will wages and other forms of income.  So there is a double whammy that is inherent in large debt-holding economies: a higher payoff costs of debt PLUS less income to pay off the debt.  In essence, the same number of more valuable dollars are paying off our debt, while fewer dollars will be available to buy other goods and services.

Even worse, many families, as well as local, state, and national governments may not be able to pay off their debts with higher valued dollars without drastically reducing what they can afford for other goods and services which worsens the deflationary spiral.

This is whey Keynesians hate deflation and love inflation.  Deflation ruins their debt-promoting party.

Here is an article written by someone more knowledgeable than I on the topic of…

Why Deflation Is Worse Than Inflation

by Rick Newman, US News and World Report

On the surface, it sounds appealing: Prices fall, things get cheaper, and consumers catch a break. But deflation is a pernicious problem that can strangle an economy for years—and it's a growing worry for the watchdogs minding the anemic recovery that has followed the Great Recession.

One of the Federal Reserve's primary responsibilities is to keep inflation under control, which generally means shepherding the economy along with benign inflation of 1 to 3 percent per year. But inflation has been close to 0 so far this year, and with economic growth slowing, the odds are rising that overall prices could decline. That's a rare phenomenon most Americans have never experienced.

[See 14 things that are getting cheaper.]

Poobahs at the Fed have started debating what to do, and liberal columnist Paul Krugman recently called the Fed "feckless" for talking about deflation but taking no action. John Makin of the conservative American Enterprise Institute calls deflation "a classic prolonger of crises" and predicts it will be here by the end of the year. Investors are worried too, with stock prices vacillating on fears that price declines could undermine corporate profits.

If you're confused, welcome to a club that includes most Americans. In the midst of the recession, economists warned us not about deflation, but about runaway inflation, thanks to aggressive government stimulus spending, record-low interest rates, and more than $1 trillion in new money injected into the economy by the Fed. In a normal economy, all that liquidity would ratchet up demand for assets, which in turn would drive up prices. Voila: Inflation.

As you've no doubt heard dozens of times, however, this isn't a normal economy. Consumers need way more than the traditional pick-me-ups provided by low rates and government spending. Many are out of work, with falling income—or no income. Debt loads are so high that many consumers couldn't borrow if they wanted to, so they're using unspent cash to pay down debt. After a few hopeful months earlier this year, consumer spending is slipping. That worries CEOs, who are reluctant to hire when spending is down, while shoppers worried about scarce jobs respond by shutting their wallets. Consumers and corporate chiefs have basically formed a mutual-worry society.

[See why raises are so scarce.]

Low inflation has been a blessing for consumers, with a few things getting more expensive but many things getting cheaper. The microprocessor revolution, for example, has driven down the cost of computers, televisions, and other kinds of electronics, while growing imports from low-cost countries like China has made clothing, furniture, and appliances cheaper. Economists call this "good deflation," because it makes people and companies more productive and helps improve living standards.

"Bad deflation" happens when the price of everything falls. And that can harm everybody. Economist Gary Shilling cites three factors needed for bad deflation: A financial crisis, a deep recession, and a spike in unemployment. Gulp. We've had all of those. When the economic pain gets intense enough, demand for all products falls far below supply, simply because people don't have enough money to buy all the stuff companies are geared up to produce. That has clearly happened in the market for homes, cars, many retail items, and the commodities used to make a variety of products. The danger comes when falling demand for some products creates so much slack in the economy that the demand for all products—as measured by the consumer price index, for example—tumbles.

[See 10 states where taxes are up, services down.]

If all prices fall, it's a disaster. Falling prices means lower revenue and profit margins for companies, which as we know leads to layoffs, less hiring, stagnant wages, and outright pay cuts. Consumers with lower incomes have less money to spend, which tends to lock the cycle in place: With sales down, firms have to cut prices even more to get business. The worst part comes when everybody realizes that prices are falling, because nobody wants to buy something today if it will be cheaper tomorrow. That's why our housing market is such a disaster: When prices are falling, you've already lost money on your investment the day after your big purchase. Buyers would rather sit on the sidelines and wait for prices to bottom out.

Deflation also wreaks havoc with routine borrowing and other aspects of a normally functioning economy. For people (or countries, ahem) in debt, inflation actually eases the burden because the real value of fixed debt goes down over time. If inflation is 5 percent per year, for instance, your income keeps pace with inflation, and you pay $1,000 a month toward a fixed-rate mortgage, your nominal income goes up over time but your mortgage payment doesn't. So the mortgage effectively gets cheaper over time. The opposite happens with deflation, which makes debt more expensive over time. If deflation were 5 percent per year and your income fell at the same rate, the mortgage payment would take an increasingly big bite out of your paycheck.

[See how the economy will look on election day.]

That turns the basic machinery of the economy inside out. Under deflation, cash becomes a highly valued asset, since a 0 percent return is better than a negative one. Banks have no incentive to make loans, since they'd lose money. Defaults would skyrocket, exacerbating the problems we already know about: broke consumers, money-losing banks, frozen credit markets. Everybody would hoard cash and consumers would only buy essentials.

That's been the situation in Japan since 1995, a case study that economists have been paying a lot of attention to lately. The circumstances are different in the United States, but Japan is hardly a medieval society with illiterate central bankers. In other words, if it can happen there, it can probably happen here.

There are lots of technical lessons from Japan's battle with deflation, but the most important takeaway is that deflation is the economic equivalent of an STD: Once you've got it, you're stuck with it for awhile. "Prevention of deflation remains preferable to having to cure it," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a long-ignored 2002 speech that's found new life as an ironic prophesy.

[See 5 reasons a double-dip recession could happen.]

Bernanke and other Fed officials think they know what to do if deflation strikes, but they haven't had a lot of practice: Full-blown deflation hasn't been a problem in the United States since the early 1930s, when widespread fire sales caused overall price drops of about 10 percent per year. So they'd rather deal with inflation, which is common enough that it essentially comes with a dog-eared troubleshooting manual. The Fed, of course, doesn't get to decide what problems it has to confront, as the last few years have shown us. Maybe they'll get one more chance to show their creativity in crisis.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reasons for decline of Christianity in the West

Militant Islam and Militant Secularism are identified in the article below  as the primary reasons for the precipitous decline of Christianity in England.    I’ll add one more “militant” to that list:  Militant Self-absorption.

We become uneasy, impatient, and sometimes angry when our self-absorption is interrupted.  “Don’t mess with my ballgame!”  “Don’t mess with my vacation!”  “Don’t mess with my computer game!”  “Don’t mess with me, I’m angry, tired, I don’t give a cr-p!”

What enables self-absorption?  Our national and personal security is one.  There is no need to defend and fight.  We feel little need for unity.  We are a safe and secure people.  We are in control.  There is no need for God to help us.  We felt somewhat less secure the days following 9-11 when church attendance spiked.  But the comfortable security resumed weeks later and church attendance declined to its previous levels.

Prosperity is security’s companion.  Prosperity enables freedom from  want.  Freedom from want frees us from the need to ask or beg.  This frees many of the need for prayer – or for a God to pray to.  And if perchance our security or prosperity fail, we have another God substitute:  Big Government.  Big Government comes to the rescue relieving the need for God who is now considered an extraneous “middle man.”  Again, there is little need for God.

All of these replacements for God give folks lots of room to be critical of God’s book, the Holy Bible.  It is easier to be critical of something once you discover you have little use for it.  Academics call it “Higher Criticism.”   The faithful call it destroying the credibility of Scripture.

higher criticism, the name given in the 19th century to a branch of biblical scholarship concerned with establishing the dates, authorship, sources, and interrelations of the various books of the Bible, often with disturbing results for orthodox Christian dogma. It was ‘higher’ not in status but in the sense that it required a preliminary basis of ‘lower’ textual criticism, which reconstructed the original wording of biblical texts from faulty copies.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/higher-criticism#ixzz1dXjJiN3j

While England is a decade or two ahead of the US in terms of decline of church attendance, we are on the same road.  Should you have any doubt about the decline of Christianity in America, the Schaeffer Institute provides some dismal facts to put your doubts to rest.

Here is the article about the state of Christianity in England…

Is this the end of Christianity in England?

By: Bill Muehlenberg
Christian Today Australia Columnist

One way or another, the lights seem to be going out for Christianity in England. If the secularists do not destroy the church there, the Islamists are happy to have a go at it. Just last week it was announced that the BBC has appointed a Muslim to be “the Head of Religion and Ethics”. This is simply the latest in a long list of Islamist initiatives which may well turn England into a Muslim nation.

As Melanie Philips documented in her important book, Londonistan, the Islamisation of England is steadily rolling on. See my review of this vital book here: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2006/08/31/a-review-of-londonistan-how-britain-is-creating-a-terror-state-within-by-melanie-philips/

And of course there are also the secularists, especially represented by the militant homosexual lobby. They too have had a tremendously powerful impact on the silencing of Christianity. This is another issue I have frequently documented in these pages.

Consider the latest indication of this, as detailed in the Telegraph: “Churches will be banned from turning down gay job applicants on the grounds of their sexuality under new anti-discrimination laws, a Government minister said. Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful. Christian organisations fear that the tightened legislation, which is due to come into force next year, will undermine the integrity of churches and dilute their moral message.”

The article continues, “It comes amid growing concern that Christians are being unfairly targeted by discrimination laws, following a number of high-profile cases of courts finding against believers who stand up for their faith. Religious leaders had hoped to lobby for exemptions to the Equality Bill but Maria Eagle, the deputy equalities minister, has now indicated that it will cover almost all church employees.”

This is what Ms Eagle told delegates at the Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights conference in London: “The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between. While the state would not intervene in narrowly ritual or doctrinal matters within faith groups, these communities cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law. Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment.”

A spokesman for a religious charity, the Christian Institute, said this: “It would be absurd to pass a law demanding that the Labour Party employ card-carrying Conservative members, but that is effectively what churches are being told to do. We just want the same exceptions as political parties. Christians are sick to the back teeth of equality and diversity laws that put them to the back of the queue. We are quite prepared to accept that people will take a different view to use on moral and ethical questions, but that should not mean we have to withdraw from public life.”

But that is the whole point of such laws: to forever rid Christianity from the public square. Consider what a Government Equalities Office spokesman said: “The Equality Bill will not force a church to accept someone as a priest regardless of their sexual orientation or gender. Churches, synagogues, mosques and others will continue to have the freedom to choose who they employ in jobs which promote their religion. But where they provide services to the public they will have to treat everyone fairly.”

This is just typical secular double talk. As if services provided by the church have anything other than a very public outworking. Christianity is a public faith, and everything about it will have an impact on the public arena. So the removal of religious exemptions will effectively silence the church for good.
And that is just what the homosexual activists and the militant secularists have long been working toward. They have been very clever about this. They say that religious people are welcome to practice their faith, just as long as it is not done in public.

It is all about the privatisation of a faith which by its very nature is a most public faith. Believers are commanded to go into the whole world and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. But the secularist mafia want believers to be shut at up home in their little prayer closets, or have church services which have absolutely no bearing on the world around them.
Sorry, but that is not biblical Christianity. Jesus told us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The secularists are seeking to de-salt Christianity and remove its light, hiding it under a barrow. This of course is the very thing Jesus said we should not be doing as believers (Matt. 5: 13-16).

So these anti-Christian bigots are being quite sneaky about all this: “Sure, you can still practice your faith! Just make sure it impacts no one, affects nothing, and influences absolutely zippo. We are quite happy with a faith like that!”

This is a war of worldviews. Just as the early Christians clashed head-on with the ruling powers of the day, proclaiming Christ - not Caesar - as Lord, so too today we have a full-on battle taking place. The secularists want us to be a silent, obedient and docile bunch who do not ruffle any feathers or make any waves.

But that just cannot be. It is said of the early church that they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That forever must be the true nature of the church of Jesus Christ. Christianity will always have a significant social impact, and Christians will never share their allegiance with any other contender to the throne.

We will certainly seek to be good citizens, but we will not bow the knee to Caesar. Nor will we bow the knee to a militant secularist state that is seeking to drain the lifeblood out of the church of Christ. Christians are always people with divided loyalties. We are citizens of two kingdoms, and when the kingdom of this world challenges the kingdom of God, the latter must take precedence.

At the moment many forces are warring against the Christian church. In England, and much of the Western world, the two main opponents are militant Islam and militant secularism. Both are seeking to crush the life out of Christianity.

The good news is, we know that in the end the church will prevail. But that does not mean that we should now sit idly by, and just pretend the assaults are not taking place. We must be involved in these battles, and do all we can to withstand the twin forces seeking to wipe out Christianity from England and elsewhere.


Friday, November 11, 2011

“All-American anti-Semite” coming to a TV near you…

A new TV show, “All-American Muslim” begins soon on “The Learning Channel.”  As expected, the producers will portray these kinky folk as “main-stream Americana, struggling to survive in a deeply hostile society.”

How much truth of Islam and Islamic culture and ideology do you think will be revealed.  I will guess “none.”

This is little different from a radio show in the early 40’s depicting an all-American Nazi family joining in conversation around the dinner table sharing stories of how they are persecuted and how great their anti-Semitic Nazi culture is.

I expect some network will soon produce a show titled “All-American Pedophile”.  That should be good for ratings.

Here is the complete story of the new Muslim-embracing show from World Net Daily.

School wins suit prohibiting American flag…

If you are a group who threatens violence should someone wear an American flag, you will prevail.  This is exactly the result when a California school prohibited students from wearing an American flag displayed on their shirt during Cinco de Mayo.  The students sued the school on the bases of violation of first their amendment right to freedom of expression – and LOST.

This is exactly the form of political correctness that keeps the truth from being told about Islamic evil.  Two events planned by Pam Geller to inform her audience of the Islamic threat were cancelled by the venue hotels after the hotels were told there might be violence.  Who warned about potential violence?  Islamists from CAIR.   What was the only potential source of such violence?  The very  Islamists who complained, the ones who didn’t want Pamela to speak. 

Who did the school get threats from when the students wore the American flag?  The Mexican students who threatened violence, the ones who didn’t want to see the American flag displayed.

In both instances the cowardly individuals in authority over each situation apparently couldn’t care less about our freedoms and pulled the plug on two things reflecting American culture:  Our flag and our freedom of speech and expression.  Their priority was caving in to intimidation by those who are intent on destroying everything American.

Here is the complete article from The Blaze:


Education Fed Judge: Calif. School Was Right to Forbid Students’ American Flag T-Shirts on Cinco de Mayo

Should public school officials have the right to prevent students from wearing pro-American garb on Cinco de Mayo?

This question has been at the heart of a California court battle between the Morgan Hill Unified School District and students who were told by a principal and assistant principal that they could not wear American flag t-shirts on the Mexican holiday back in 2010.

Following the incident, a lawsuit against the district was launched by the students and their families. This week, the case came to a close, with a federal judge ruling against the students — a blow that is likely to infuriate some free speech advocates.

Photo Credit: Lora Schraft

According to U. S. District Court Judge James Ware, the district did not violate the students’ first amendment rights. The judge also found that officials‘ concern over the potential violence that could be incited by the students’ pro-American outfits justified the school’s actions. The Morgan Hill Times has more about the case:

[The parents and students] filed the lawsuit against the school district alleging violations against their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights after their children wore American-themed T-shirts to Live Oak and were sent home after refusing to remove the shirts and apparel after Boden and Rodriguez were concerned about the potential for violence on campus…

The lawsuit sought nominal damages including changing school policies to clearly state students’ rights and protections under the Bill of Rights and reimbursing lawyer fees and expenses for the cost of litigation.

Here’s a bit more of the background: After noticing that the students were wearing pro-American garb on May 5, 2010, Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez subsequently approached the kids, telling them to to either remove the garments or to turn their shirts inside out. School Principal Nick Boden was apparently also concerned over the potential for the outfits to create issues between Hispanic students and those wearing the clothing (both men were named in the lawsuit as well).

Following their refusal to comply, the students were allegedly taken to the school’s office where Rodriguez talked with them about Cinco de Mayo. He apparently told them that their clothing would offend Hispanic students who observe the holiday.

Here’s a KSBW-TV story from 2010 that provides background on the incident:

Video: Lawsuit Filed In Morgan Hill Flag Flap

The Rutherford Institute and the Thomas More Law Center teamed up to represent the students and their families. John Whitehead, the president of Rutherford, was obviously less than content with the final decision. “This is nothing more than political correctness,” he said. “If these kinds of decisions are upheld, they will destroy our First Amendment rights.”

The school district, though, defends the principal’s actions and is elated by the recent decision. Wes Smith, who served as superintendent of the school district, says that he is very satisfied by the outcome. “We were encouraged to hear that the federal court found student safety paramount,” he said.

These comments seem somewhat disconnected from the statements Smith made just days after the incident unfolded. ”This has certainly been a very difficult time for our school district,” he said at a press conference on May 7, 2010. ”School leaders have to make judgment calls on when to take preventative measures to pre-empt a possible incident or conflict. In this situation, it appears that a decision was made too quickly.”

Rutherford is planning to appeal the court’s decision.

Pamela Geller: “Truth is the new hate speech”

Pamela Geller, writer for the blog “Atlas Shrugs” and founder of the group “SOIA” (Stop the Islamization of America), and the companion book by the same name spoke at the Florida Tea Party Convention last week.

She speaks of the leftist/Islamic alliance, the stark differences between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the education, media, and legal jihad taking place in America.  She correctly observes that it makes no difference whether Obama is truly a Muslim or not.  He is doing the exact same thing as if he were.  He is this nation’s Islamic enabler and promoter-in-chief.

Pamela is one of the clearest truth tellers about the Islamic threat in the world today.  Take the time to view this important video.


Also visit the Islamic Threat Simplified website to be convinced of the grave danger of Islam to America.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cognitive dissonance: Separating principle from action…

Why don’t people “practice what they preach?”  Why don’t we act in ways  we say we believe?

The answer:  What we believe is too difficult to do.  What we do is easier than what we believe.

Is this one of the reasons for the liberalizing of the American church – to bring the church’s belief systems into conformity with what is easier for us to do?  You bet it is.

This is also one of the reasons why the church is becoming less relevant to millions of people.  The church is less “salt and light”, less a “shining city on a hill” to aspire to, and more a bland mush of conformity with the culture.  In fact, it is turning into a defender and promoter of pop culture, pushing government to enact laws that demand tolerance for what were a few years ago universally considered gross immoralities.  The mainline denominations, including Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian, have blended in with and have become so indistinguishable from the rest of pop culture  that their relevance is lost and reasons for attending are disappearing.  This explains, in great part, why these denominations have experienced such a precipitous decline in membership over the last several decades.  It is getting difficult to distinguish the church from the Socialist Party from the Man-Boy Love Association.

What churches are growing?  Assemblies of God, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), Jehovah’s Witnesses have shown the greatest growth.  Smaller conservative spin-offs of main line churches that maintain their significant orthodox, conservative distinctions have shown some modest growth, but even these are few and far between.   Unfortunately for those of us who feel our nation needs politically active Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses abstain from the fight by refusing to participate in elections, politics, and the military as their means of avoiding the corrupting influence of politics.  

Each of these relatively prospering bodies, in their own way, demand something from their members to counter the culture that threatens our survival.  They each have strong stands against the rampant acceptance of abortion, against the acceptance of “gayness” as the new “cool” , and against the general immorality that is the new normal.   These churches promote traditional, strong families, moral absolutes, respect for life, a literal interpretation of the Bible (as they understand it) and perpetuation of our species.  On this last point, perpetuation of our species is one of the main objectives of our worship of God in the first place, apparently quite distinct from the beliefs demanded by both anything goes liberals and anything blows Islam.  Both of these epitomize cognitive dissonance.

The growing denominations work to eliminate the cognitive dissonance that keeps members from acting on their beliefs.  They demand something of their members.  They are counter-cultural.  These churches promote as “normal” the actual living of their beliefs.  As regards competing ideologies like Islam, growing churches clearly lay out the evils of Islam instead of attempting to highlight misleading and ill-informed similarities.  As regards big government, socialism, and the “social gospel”, these churches emphasize the need for personal responsibility required by personal decisions required to embrace personal salvation and living a new life.

The liberal church is a dying church trying to avoid cognitive dissonance.

The conservative church is a growing church, successfully integrating beliefs into actions.

Our cognitive dissonance and  failure of our churches is also closely related to the failure of our public education system.  Here is the trailer to the eye-opening 90-minute video, “Indoctrination”, that gives a sweeping overview of the destruction of our Judeo-Christian culture in our schools…

Trailer to the movie “Indoctrination”

The rates of growth and decline among the 25 largest churches in the U.S. reported in the 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches are:


Denomination Name

Current Ranking (Ranking in 2007 ed.) Inclusive Membership

Percentage Increase or Decrease

The Catholic Church 1(1) 67,515,016 0.87%
Southern Baptist Convention 2(2) 16,306,246 0.22%
The United Methodist Church 3(3) 7,995,456 -0.99%
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 4(4) 5,779,316 1.56%
The Church of God in Christ 5(5) 5,499,875 0.00%
National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. 6(6) 5,000,000 0.00%
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 7(7) 4,774,203 -1.58%
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. 8(8) 3,500,000 0.00%
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 9(9) 3,025,740 -2.36%
Assemblies of God 10(10) 2,836,174 0.19%
African Methodist Episcopal Church 11(11) 2,500,000 0.00%
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America 11(11) 2,500,000 0.00%
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 11(11) 2,500,000 0.00%
The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS) 14(14) 2,417,997 -0.94%
Episcopal Church 15(15) 2,154,572 -4.15%
Churches of Christ 16(16) 1,639,495 0.00%
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America 17(17) 1,500,000 0.00%
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. 17(17) 1,500,000 0.00%
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 19(19) 1,443,405 0.21%
American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. 20(20) 1,371,278 -1.82%
United Church of Christ 21(21) 1,218,541 -0.47%
Baptist Bible Fellowship International 22(22) 1,200,000 0.00%
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ 23(23) 1,071,616 0.00%
The Orthodox Church in America 24(24) 1,064,000 0.00%
Jehovah’s Witnesses 25(25) 1,069,530 2.25%
TOTAL 147,382,460 0.24%
Percentage changes in italic/bold signify that membership was not updated from previous reported