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Are conservative Christian theology and liberal politics compatible?
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Tools for involuntarily rewriting loans for the benefit of large and foreign creditors being created this week!
Mood:  incredulous

Exactly as I predicted yesterday, the United States is choosing the hyperinflationary route out of its troubles.  The first installment (but certainly not the last) of this hyperinflationary approach is the President's emergency bailout plan for the financial markets.  The leaders of  both houses of Congress have been quoted as saying their chambers plan to act on the proposal by the end of this week.  The President essentially wants to create $700 billion (he says) in new money--though Democrats are saying it will actually be well over $1 trillion--to buy all of the endangered assets of the banking, insurance and securities industries.  Publicly he says this will take only (!!!) $700 billion, and will initially be limited to high-risk and defaulted mortgages.  But the proposal, as submitted to Congress, is open-ended.  Officers of the Executive Branch, upon agreeing that there is a need, will be able to expand the bailout to any part of the financial market, buy any kind of distressed assets they believe necessary, and create the money to do it.   This is sure to lead to massive inflation, though it will probably not hit until after the election (which is only six weeks away).

Also exactly as I predicted yesterday, the interests of large foreign creditors are being safegurded by the President's plan.  To be sure, the legislation the President initially sent to to Congress yesterday morning would have covered only domestic financial institutions.  But by yesterday evening, the President had been convinced to modify his plan to bail out foreign banks and foreign financial institutions holding distressed American assets as well. Obviously, the foreign creditors complained, likely reminding the Administration of their power to crush our economy immediately if they are not permitted to assert their full ownership of it more slowly and invisibly. 


Finally, I note that the beginning of the fulfillment of my prediction that statutory means would be found to prevent ordinary debtors from deriving any advantage from the hyperinflation. As one article about the President's plan explains, Congress is already considering including in it amendments to federal bankruptcy law that would permit existing mortgages to be modified. This is only the beginning of a massive rewrite of debtor/creditor law that will permit large institutional creditors to unilaterally modify the terms of existing ordinary consumer debts, possibly with the active involvement of an Executive-branch government agency, so as to avoid being damaged at all by inflation--even runaway hyperinflation. My guess is that this is most likely to occur through some sort of automatic indexing of the principal, or by restatement of the principal (at its pre-inflation value) in terms of specie, real property or hours of labor. But however Congress chooses to accomplish it, we can be sure that something will be done to keep ordinary debts from being inflated out of existence, AND IT HAS ALREADY STARTED TO BE CONSIDERED.


Modern inflation is a way for the "big boys" to eliminate their debts to us. It is not a way for us to eliminate our debts to them.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 12:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 21 September 2008 1:35 PM EDT
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Repudiation of the dollar of hyperinflation: what the collapse will look like
Topic: Pure Satire

For those of you who think the coming collapse will look like 1929, think again.  Everyone--the government, American corporations and consumers--are WAY too far in debt for a deflationary depression to happen.  Deflation won't help the government get out of its debt.  Much more likely will be hyperinflation--in which the government prints money to pay its debts to ordinary people and American corporations, resulting in runaway inflation--or outright repudiation of the dollar and all dollar-denominated debts TO ordinary peons. 

The discussion below ASSUMES that two even more drastic events will NOT occur--1) it assumes that our government will not try to prevent economic disaster by starting the war to end all wars, and rendering the planet unlivable in the process; 2) it assumes that the foreign creditors of the United States will not repossess the country by military force or threat of nuclear destruction.  It's not that I consider either of these scenarios unlikely.  They are far too likely.  I am merely saving them for discussion in later entries.  

Hyperinflation happened most famously in Germany in 1923.   Germany had more reparations from World War I to pay than it had national economy with which to pay them.  So it printed marks to pay its own internal obligations, to save its metals and hard currency for foreign patyments.  As a result, the mark's exchange rate with the dollar fell from 4 marks per dollar to 4 billion marks per dollar in the course of only a few months.     Hyperinflation has also happened in the United States before-- the Continental Dollar, issued during the Revolutionary War under the Articles of Confederation, underwent hyperinflation and was ultimately repudiated--hence the saying "it's not worth a Continental. " More recently--within the last 20 years-- Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Argentina, Turkey and Zimbabwe have become examples of hyperinflation.  If you think $5 per gallon gasoline is bad, try $5 BILLION per gallon.  It may be coming. 

Historically, hyperinflation has been of benefit to all debtors who survived it--whether the debtor was the government or an ordinary citizen.  This was so because wages, for those who could find work, also increased--although they lagged behind the prices of goods.  However, debts, by their nature--at least in the past--always had a fixed principal amount.  So, using Germany as the example, a common person's 1,000 mark debt before the hyperinflationary episode would REMAIN only a 1,000 mark debt (plus interest, of course) throughout the period of hyperinflation.  During that same time, a days wages might increase from 100 marks to, say, 20 billion marks (remember that wages always lag behind inflation).  So, where the 1,000 mark debt might have taken several years to pay off on a reasonable budget before the inflation, at some point in the inflationary process wages will increase to the point that it now takes less than a day to pay the debt.  So the effect of hyperinflation in the past has often been to wipe out all fixed debts denominated in the hyperinflating currency.

However, ordinary consumer debtors, such as myself, should not expect to be relieved of their debts by a hyperinflated dollar, if this is what ultimately happens.  Our government--and the large multinational corporations and foreign governments that hold most of our debts--have undoubtedly learned too much from past eisodes of hyperinflation to permit that to happen.  If hyperinflation occurs, it will be allowed to wipe out all obligations of the goverment and the major corporations to ordinary Americans and American small businesses.  The degree to which inflation will be allowed to affect the debts of large American corporations to each other and to foreign corporations and governments will no doubt be a matter for intense negotiations and international threats (with the possibility of war).

On the other hand, we can be absolutely certain that, if hyperinflation occurs, it will not be permitted to help ordinary consumer debtors and smaller Aerican businesses.  The government will likely find some effective way to either index the principal of all ordinary debts to the inflation rate. Alternatively, the law may simply declare, when the panic is over, that ordinary debts repaid during the panic, in hyperinflated dollars, are really still owed, due and payable in specie, real property or indentured service at some statutory exchange rate.  The foreign multinational corporations, princes and governments that own most of our debts absolutely MUST NOT be deprived of their right to enslave us for our personal and national debts, simply because the government finds a way out for itself! 

Obviously, the government may ultimately decide to skip the hyperinflation and simply repudiate its debt, and the currency with it.  This, however, will be an invitation to war unless the debts owed to certain large foreign entities are adequately taken care of.  Taking care of these foreign creditors will undoubtedly require binding ordinary American debtors tightly to their debts, in one of the ways already discussed.  

So, what we are most likely to see is a hyperinflationary depression, or a depression including a repudiation of the dollar, not a 1929-style deflationary depression.  But noting that happens will be permitted to adversely affect the real value of ordinary debts, which will enslave most of us.    



Posted by ian_j_site2 at 10:22 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 September 2008 10:49 PM EDT
Thursday, 18 September 2008
I predicted the current economic times before President Bush was elected!
Topic: idiosyncratic egotism

On October 8, 2000, a month before George W. Bush was elected President, I predicted the current economic situation--in which nearly every expert and commentator sees a serious crash coming.  And I predicted this would happen regardless of who was elected President, because the underlying cause of the problem is spiritual, not political.  See my web page A Warning Against Idolatry, first posted October 8, 2000 (for those who doubt this date, I can prove I registered my copyright in the original text of the warning on September 4, 2001, and I will gladly send doubters a copy of that copyright registration).  

 The economy has been slowly sliding downhill ever since.  But now all commentators see a dramatic crash coming.  

I am now ready to predict the most likely range of dates for the big crash.  It will come sometime between election day in November and the first of the year.  Making this prediction does not require prophetic ability or a crystal ball.  Our political leaders are rapidly running out of flexibility.  The methods they have used to keep oil prices down, business moving and credit available, simultaneously, have very little life left in them.  Nevertheless, our leaders will undoubtedly make their very best effort to maintain the public appearance of business as usual until election day.  They do not want to suffer the anti-incumbent backlash that would result from a meltdown before the election.

But they know they can't hold on much longer.  So shortly after the election--possibly as soon as the day after the election--we can expect to see gasoline prices shoot up to well over $5 per gallon.  That will be the announcement that the whole financial system is about to unravel in short order.

Yes, I could be wrong bout these dates. Our politicians may not be able to hold back the crash until the election, or they may be able to hold it back a little past January 1. But it is clearly coming soon.

Are we ready to be reposessed by our foreign creditors? We had better be.

The only hope is exactly what it has been since I first wrote about this matter in October 2000--a revival in the Church in America.  Unfortunately, it may take panic, impoverishment and enslavement to foreigners to bring it about.



Posted by ian_j_site2 at 8:44 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 September 2008 10:57 PM EDT
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
"1 of 300," Topeka, Kansas, Christian Men from All Denominations and Races Praying

Spurred by recent violence in Topeka, a group of eleven churches from several denominations has inaugurated a series of Tuesday night prayer meetings open to men from all Christian denominations.  The purpose of these prayer meetings is to pray together for widespread repentance and responsiveness to the Gospel in Topeka, for a change in the atmosphere of the city, and for an end to the recent increase in violence here.   The meetings are not intended to promote sheep stealing, and no opportunity is presented for this activity.  I personally had no involvement in the initiation or organization of these meetings, which were started entirely at the initiative of the pastors of the host churches, and I have no role in the leadership.  But I do attend the meetings and support the effort. (I understand that the full participation of additional host churches not already included in the list is welcome). The organizers believe, as I do, that one of the major causes of violence in our society is the racial and denominational barriers that divide the Church, and that the negative effects of these barriers may be overcome by unified prayer.  The organizers also believe that the present impotence of the church in the face of the evils in our city (and world) results in part from the fact that the MEN in the Church have abdicated their leadership, and that bringing the MEN together is the key to great effectiveness.  

The prayer meetings that currently have scheduled locations are:

July 15, 7 p.m., Wanamaker Woods Church of the Nazarene

July 22, 7 p.m., St. John AME Church

The group's current brochure states:  

"Answer the Call:"

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  II Chronicles 7:14"

"God is looking for 300 men of faith who will cross denominational, religious and cultural barriers to pray for the city of Topeka and her people.  We will pray for approximately 1 hour at different locations throughout the city in the upcoming weeks.  We are more powerful together than we are apart.  So join us as we stand united and take back what has been stolen from us."

The "host churches" listed in the current brochure are: First Assembly of God, Antioch Baptist Church, El Shaddai Ministries COGIC, Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, Fellowship Bible Church, Light of the World Christian Center, New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, St. John AME Church, Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Topeka Bible Church and Wanamaker Woods Church of the Nazarene.

The contact person listed "for more information" is Pastor E.T. Watson, III, El Shaddai Ministries, 920 S.E. Sherman Ave., Topeka, KS 66607, (785) 232-5754 or (785) 845-9851

I will post schedules of meeting times and places weekly at Topeka Unified Prayer and Evangelism: Positive Developments.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 6:23 PM EDT
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Some modest proposals for pressing political and social problems
Topic: Pure Satire
The "Pure Satire" channel of this blog will now, over the remaining course of the 2008 political campaign season, present a series of "modest proposals" for solutions to the United States'--and, indeed, the world's--most pressing political, social, diplomatic and economic problems.  These solutions may seem radical and drastic, but I assure you that they are quite modest:  "modest," indeed, in exactly the same sense that Jonathan Swift's 1729 "Modest Proposal" to relieve the plight of the poor children of Ireland was "modest."  Be warned in advance about the nature of my "modesty!"

To read Swift's "Modest Proposal," the inspiration for my own, go to A Modest Proposal.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 May 2008 10:07 PM EDT
Thursday, 22 May 2008
To the developers around 15th and Hudson in Topeka, Kansas
Topic: idiosyncratic egotism
This is a notice to those presently building new commercial space in Topeka, Kansas, on the south side of East 15th Street between Adams St. and the corner of 15th, Hudson and Maryland, and on the east side of Maryland Ave. on Hudson Hill between 15th and 17th:  My wife and I own and live in the house on the corner lot on the northwest corner of 17th and Maryland, immediately south of your property along 15th (1601 S.E. Maryland).  This property will be important to you if you plan in the future to re-route  Maryland or 17th  to support your development.  Be on notice that we are willing to sell to you if an appropriate price--a price large enough to make the purchase of substitute housing economically feasible for us--is offered.  Make an offer.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 8:35 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 22 May 2008 8:36 AM EDT
Sunday, 11 May 2008
My purpose, Christian unity, effectiveness of mission, and further personal preparation
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: my books

Obviously, as a Christian, the main purpose of my life on earth is to come to know God and to trust Him to live through me, through my thoughts, words and actions, that He may be glorified in the world around me.  It is to learn to live out my oneness with Him in the Spirit.  

I have long been aware that, for me personally, with my unusual gifts, personality and disabilities, a large part of that purpose involves letting God live through me intellectually, guiding my study and thinking (which are very major parts of my life).  I have also long been aware one of the major purposes, or possibly better "sub-purposes," of my life involves moving the Church, Christ's Body on Earth, toward more outward manifestation of its real unity.  That has been the focus of my intellectual activity for the last 14 or 15 years of my life.  It has led to the publication of numerous websites (links to all of which are found on the Christian-oneness.org website) and one book (Our Oneness in Christ).

 But thus far these efforts do not appear to have been very effective.  The websites usually gather only a few hundred "hits" per month, and very little response.  The book, published in December 2006, has received some very positive reviews but has sold only about 30 copies, total, not counting copies I or my coauthor have purchased ourselves and distributed for free.  I have sought for coauthors for additional books, believing God was in it (and I still do believe that), but have received only weak response to my proposals.  God works in His own time, but I have had to ask Him why nothing seems to be happening.

He has reminded me that I must let Him guide my course.  And He has started me on a new course of personal preparation.  The underlying ideas  in my existing book and websites are generally scripturally sound, but I do not yet have the philosophical or theological background to adequately understand where the divisions in the Church really came from. I also don't yet have the background to fully appreciate why the various divided entities in the Church seem to be locked in the mode of insisting that everyone outside of them--whether unbelievers or believers from other denominational groups--must come to them on their own terms, fully understanding and affirming their theological terms of art, or not at all.  (Obviously, this traditional insistence that those who come to Christ must first understand and agree with church language and forms of thought keeps many people away from Christ in this post-Christian country).  So, he has strated me on a course of reading as He directs.

One of the major functions of this blog will be to present reviews of many of the books I'm directed to read, or have already read.  These reviews will be posted in the "reviews" topic of this blog.  The other major function of this blog will be to provide a place to vent frustrations with the world aruond me.  This venting will occur mostly in the "pure satire" topic.    


Posted by ian_j_site2 at 9:46 PM EDT
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Applications of Quantum Mechanics to Real Life: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: F unAQs
Although I have no idea where I'm going, I can be absolutely certain I'll get there.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 8:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Positive implications of rejection (declaration of independence)
Topic: idiosyncratic egotism

As I said in an earlier post, the United States Supreme Court has now refused to involve itself in my case.  The result of this is that the judgment of the Kansas Supreme Court denying my application to join the bar of the State of Kansas, stands.  This means that, barring the intervention of God to change the decision of the Courts, I will never be a lawyer.  (Note that, unlike many, I do not place the United States Supreme Court above God.  God can still overrule the Court--or even abolish it--if He wants to).

This decision may, at first, look like a disaster for me, something out of which no good can come.  But it does have some positive aspects.  Here is a partial list of them: 

1.  I no longer need to fear the negative opinions of the Kansas Supreme Court.  They have irreversibly decided that they are unworthy of me.  So now I can go on free of any concern for what they think.

2.  As a consequence of #1, I no longer need to make personal decisions--for instance, decisions about where I spend my time or money, or who I associate with--with any purpose to avoid the Court's bad opinion or to win the Court's favor.  They have already done the worst they can do, and I will NEVER win their favor.  In these personal and financial decisions, I am now free to follow God's leading without trying to balance God's plans against the desire for a future law license.

3.  Also as a consequence of #1, I no longer need to put any study time into maintaining my legal knowledge.  I can now study entirely on God's program.

4.  Another consequence of #1 is that I am now free to speak, write and publish without any thought of what the Court will think.  The Court will probably dislike whatever I say, just because I'm the one who said it, said it.  But their displeasure doesn't matter anymore. 

5.  I no longer need to make occupational decisions based on the need to stay close to the law.  I'm free to increasingly pursue a future in scholarship and writing, which is both my natural bent and the direction I believe God is sending me.

6.  I no longer need to make paying my student loan the number one priority in my life.  Because there will be no future attempts to join the Bar, late student loan payments will not have a negative effect on future applications.  This doesn't mean that I now intend to go into bankruptcy, or to simply ignore my student loan creditor.  It does mean that God and my family will now come before my creditors--as should always have been the case.  

7.  I no longer need to make financial and occupational decisions based on ultra-conservative speculations about the effects of my decisions on my ability to maintain my payments on my student loans from law school.  I no longer need to avoid pursuing unconventional decisions about my finances or future because I fear that they would make my student loan creditor feel insecure, if that creditor found out about them.   Just because most of the loans were from law school doesn't mean that my future has to be that of a "normal" rejected law school graduate.    

 In short, I'm now free to make radical changes without giving any thought to what the Kansas Supreme Court, or the courts in general, would think about those changes.  The Court probably thought that its decision rendered me irrelevant.  What it really did was render them irrelevant.

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 11:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 7 May 2008 8:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
My book is NOT "out of print:" More about the Amazon monopoly imbroglio
Mood:  irritated
Topic: my books

I've been looking around the web for confirmation of my publisher's reports about monopolistic practices of Amazon.com involving publish-on-demand (POD) books such as my own. 

I have found only one article that discussed--briefly--Amazon's apparent price fixing last year. Recall from an earlier post that PublishAmerica said that last year Amazon threatened to stop selling PublishAmerica's books unless they would agree to sell  those books on their own website only at full list price. Thus, in essence, they demanded that PublishAmerica promise never to undercut Amazon's discount in selling to the public.  This is, if true, classic price fixing.  The one article I've found thuse far that discusses the situation confirms that Amazon actually did demand the right to fix the prices of PublishAmerica's books and those of other POD publishers.  See Amazon BookSurge information clearinghouse at Writers' Weekly.

But no one appears to have raised a big issue over this price fixing.

However, there are scores of online articles and blog entries concerning the subject of PublishAmerica's second letter to me--Amazon's threat to quit selling the books of any POD publisher who did not submit electronic versions of all of their books, reformatted to Amazon's specifications at significant expense, to Amazon's in-house POD unit, BookSurge.  The method by which Amazon threatened to stop selling the books was also quite sneaky, and was a veiled threat to use Amazon's visibility to damage sales of the books through other distribution channels.  Instead of simply taking down the web pages on Amazon's site advertising the banned books, Amazon threatened to keep the web pages up, but with the "buy" buttons removed from them.  The books would still be availabe through Amazon's "used and new" links to other distributors, but would not be available directly from Amazon.  This would give the false impression to customers seeking to buy a banned book at Amazon that the book was simply "out of print."

Of course, since these articles first started coming out, Amazon has actually carried out its threat against PublishAmerica, which refused to charge its authors the fees necessary to reformat their books to Amazon's specifications.  All books sold by PublishAmerica, including my book (Our Oneness in Christ, ISBN 1424160359) now show up on Amazon exactly as if they were out of print.   

Numerous articles and blogs refer to this situation as Amazon's BookSurge "imbroglio."  Some speak of the possibility of an antitrust suit (which, incidentally, I would join as a plaintiff if a significant group of others was also participating).  The best of the articles and blogs on this are:

Amazon BookSurge information clearinghouse at Writers' Weekly

Petition to stop Amazon's monopolistic practice at I-Petitions

The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla at Independent authors' Guild

Amazon's POD Monopoly on BookTwo.org

Amazon Bullying Raises Monopoly and Business Concerns on Blogging Stocks

Amazon's official response, which, unfortunately, makes little sense from my perspective.





Posted by ian_j_site2 at 10:36 PM EDT

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