This week in reaction.

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Over the Christmas period I left the laptop at home and did what I needed to do on a cellphone or using notepaper. Family was the priority. Yes, there were blog posts on the lectionary, but these could and were scheduled. The press are looking at the decade ahead, but in the meantime Australia is burning. One of Adam’s mates notes that this is a consequence of the green policy of letting the undergrowth become tinder dry, then blaming others.

First thing is that climate change as regards to what the globalists would have you believe, does never fit in. It’s not a thing, it doesn’t exist, it is a scam. So it’s the second one – 20 years of letting vegetation pile up under the glorious new religion of environmentalism. Which should be shortened to just mentalism.

Some evidence, hat tip to Adam. I know manuka (tea tree). Makes a lousy tea and very good kindling. Over here the land is wetter and manuka is a scrub plant that is eventually replaced with regenerated bush: Australia is harsher and much, much slower to recover.

Mallacoota’s population is sheltering at the open dock area as fire descends on the town. Was there three months ago and the fuel loads there and all the way to Lakes Entrance were horrific. God help them.

And it’s not just neglect, but active and culpable mismanagement.

There’s a coast walk leading out of the town that winds thru tea tree, aka petrol bush. So you know what Vic government’s “environmental stewards” went and did? The green morons trimmed the tea tree and laid the cut branches on the ground to provide habitat for lizards and wotnot.

That ground cover has had three years to dry; it’s resinous and will set the trees above it aflame in the blink of an eye.

There’s a spot there, Secret Beach, that’s just magic. To think of the landlord, a huge goanna who owns the beach and deems it his right to check out your backpack and picnic hamper should you nod off on the sand, in those flames …

Prayers for East Gippsland, especially Mallacoota just now.

God help them. We have thought about how horrible it would be to lose our garden and home, and how the Greens are culpable for this. There is an election this year. May this not be forgotten.

Wilder’s site. But accurate. There is a reason they pay more in Aussie: it’s hazard money.

The end of the year, and more

The large ruminant starts of the year by discussing doom. The whimper can ruin your life as well as the bang.

The probability that an economic collapse will spell our doom is high, but you cannot say WHEN the economy recovers, if it does, next time. You cannot say with any certainty how secure your job is, because the companies have been getting near free loans to buy back their stocks. You don’t know when you will get fired as the company gets desperate. Plenty of those business model companies have already failed, prior to the official recession or actual economic collapse. Didn’t the largest trucking company just declare bankruptcy? The repo guys had to go get trucks from rest stops and loading docks-how’s that for no warning?

Doug Casey, like me, expects a nasty depression is coming. This process is not being corrected in Europe: it may be able to be corrected in the USA post election, or the UK now. You cannot stimulate your way out of structural flaws.

Always under noble pretexts, government is constantly directly and indirectly inducing people to buy and sell things they otherwise wouldn’t, to do things they’d prefer not to, and to invest in things that make no sense.

These misallocations of capital subtly reduce a society’s general standard of living, but the serious trouble happens when such misallocations build up to an unsustainable degree and reality forces them into liquidation. The result is bankrupted companies, defaulted debt, and unemployed workers.

The business cycle is caused mainly by currency inflation, which is accomplished today by the monetization of government debt through the banking system; essentially, when the government runs a deficit, the Federal Reserve buys its debt, and credits the government’s account at a commercial bank with dollars. Using the printing press to create new money is largely passé in today’s electronic world.

Either way, inflation sends false signals to businessmen (especially those who get the money early on, as it filters through the economy), making them overestimate demand for their products. That causes them to hire more workers and make capital investments—often with borrowed money. This is called “stimulating the economy.”

Inflating the currency can actually drive down interest rates for a while, because the price of money (interest) is lowered by the increased supply of money. This causes people to save less and borrow more, just as Americans have been doing for years. A lot of that newly created money goes into the stock market, driving it higher.

It all looks pretty good, until retail prices start rising as a delayed consequence of the increased money supply, and interest rates skyrocket to reflect the depreciation of the currency.

That’s when businesses start failing. Stocks fall. Bond prices collapse. Large numbers of workers lose employment.

Rather than let the market adjust itself, government typically starts the process all over again with a new and larger “stimulus package.” The more often this happens, the more ingrained become the distortions in the way people consume and invest, and the nastier the eventual depression.

This is why I predict the Greater Depression will be … well … greater. This is going to be one for the record books. Much different, much longer lasting, and much worse than the unpleasantness of 1929-1946.

Kunstler is a bit too much of homo economicus for my taste. Yes, resources matter, but they generally don’t run out before we move on. You can make plastic out of corn husks — the question is what is the cheapest method of doing so. Similarly, you can run a minimal carbon economy — if you are very rich, and are prepared to have a standard of living below your wealth. The elite should know this, but they are lying to themselves.

The madness is distributed over many realms of American life, with the common denominator of a thinking class fallen into disordered thinking. The disorder is led by the information media and higher education with their crypto-Gnostic agendas for transforming human nature to heal the world (in theory). It includes a grab-bag of delusions and deliberate mind-fucks ranging from the morbid obsession with Russian interference in our affairs, to the crusade against free speech on campus, to the worship of sexual perversity (e.g. the Transsexual Reading Hour), to the campaigns against whiteness and maleness, to the incursions of woke-ness in the corporate workplace, to the cynical machinations of economists, bankers, and politicians in manipulating financial appearances, to the effort to divorce reality from truth as a general proposition.

These diseases of mind and culture are synergized by an aroused political ethos that says the ends justify the means, so that bad faith and knowing dishonesty become the main tools of political endeavor. Hence, a venerable institution such as The New York Times can turn from its mission of strictly pursuing news and be enlisted as the public relations service for rogue government agencies seeking to overthrow a president under false pretenses. The overall effect is of a march into a new totalitarianism, garnished with epic mendacity and malevolence. Since when in the USA was it okay for political “radicals” to team up with government surveillance jocks to persecute their political enemies?

This naturally leads to the question: what drove the American thinking class insane?

The Woodpile Report editorializes on the end of the republic, for the current rulers have destroyed the content of the constitution, and wear it as a skinsuit.

As Mr. Kunstler points out, trust, perhaps legitimacy itself, is slipping away from DC. Consider their serial crimes, not merely unpunished but flouted as insider jokes. Consider the malicious partisanship and sponsored assaults by DC’s core agencies, openly applauded in DC as brave and heroic. Consider past and ongoing “legislating from the bench” specifically intended to undo the express will of the people. The emerging message is plain enough now to be unmistakable. Our votes don’t count. Because we don’t count.

Vox Day responds, in my view correctly. Despair is for the pagans.

Courage, confidence, and a crusading faith in Jesus Christ is how we will move forward into 2020 and beyond. Deus vult!

The deplorable faithful

This week’s long read comes from an apologetics site. The author is referring to a controversy — Christianity Today (CT) has gone political. Unlike its founder, Billy Graham, who started the magazine to help his fellow believers — and he learned, young, not to go political and to work with anyone, witness to anyone, for the gospel.

Nonetheless, it is clear that Galli, and CT, are excluding evangelicals who support Trump from the table of “genuine Christians.” This is nothing new. Many Christians have been saying this about evangelical Trump supporters since the 2016 election. Galli is doing nothing more than pitching his tent in this camp. Good for him.

He then goes on in prophetic fashion to “remind” evangelical Trump supporters of where their loyalty lies, whom they serve, and what is at stake. What is at stake, by the way? Our witness, he says. Who will take us serious? This really seems to be the main concern. And this is a recurring theme from those conservative evangelicals who chastise other conservative evangelicals for supporting Trump.

What about our witness? Who will take us seriously? How will they ever take the gospel message seriously, if we support Trump? Let me give a few reasons why this is a bogus line of argumentation:

  • The truth of the Gospel message is not dependent upon the character of the Gospel messenger.
  • The effectiveness of the Gospel message is not dependent upon the character of the Gospel messenger.
  • If a person will only accept the Gospel message on the condition that I publicly denounce Trump, that person does not understand the message.
  • A vote for Trump is not a justification of all of his actions and words. I repeat: a vote for Trump is not a justification of all of his actions and words.

What’s true is true, no matter how it is received. How people interpret a vote for Donald Trump is irrelevant to whether or not such a vote is justified. This is so blatantly obvious that it boggles the mind that some don’t see it. Does Galli really believe that people are voting for Trump because they have justified his immoral actions and words? If so, one wonders if he is paying attention at all. I’m quite sure he does not and this is nothing more than moral posturing. He is repeating what so many others have already mistakenly said. His words are nothing more than the tag-lines of a group that he desperately wants to be included in.

Help me believe

The Ladysphere

Elspeth speaks truth here: so I will add that I am profoundly glad that this sister in Christ read that book and I don’t have to.

We have just had Christmas, when eating pavlola (Edmond’s cookbook recipe but in NZ every cook has their own version, generally handed down from grandmother) is mandatory, even if insulin dependant. Don’t be a food snob. Enjoy it instead.

The fact that the church has joined the world’s food fads, crusades, and trends has created a situation where the simple and joyful yet profound Christian experience of braking bread with other believers is being tainted and hindered. He argues that we all need to learn to accept what is set before us with thankfulness, and stop pretending that we are going to be irreparably damaged if we accept one dish of sweet Sister Jones’ homemade macaroni and cheese because “carbs” or “gluten” or “Monsanto” or whatever other excuse we can conjure up to resist being gracious towards our sisters and brothers in Christ. That is what I would describe as the thesis statement of Wilson’s book.

I agree with his overall thesis, but as is often the case when I read Doug Wilson’s writing, I ran into something that short-circuited his execution. I found his extensive insertion of caveats in the first three chapters problematic. In a world where almost nothing goes without saying anymore, I can appreciate the compulsion to say things like, “If you are deathly allergic to milk, I don’t expect you to risk your life eating sweet Sister Jones’ mac ‘n’ cheese in some misguided attempt at Christian unity”. What I don’t appreciate is feeling the need to say it over and over…and over again.

In the same manner, I need to thank Heartie. I would be very interested in reading about hiking the pacific coast trail: but the rest of the tropes in the modern novel? As boring as De Sade counting the number of nuns his antihero seduced.

I’ve hiked a bit of the PCT with my folks as a teen. Living in California, if you go camping much (which we did), you’re bound to hit this famous trail and do a few miles. It’s well worth the effort – I have walked the path winding along the top of the mountain, overlooking the desert below, the path that meanders between the two climate zones. Glorious. I’ve walked, similarly, some of the bits in the Sierra. Amazing.

When Wild talks about the experience, I feel utterly at home and simultaneously homesick for the wilds of California. I admire her tenacity, pushing through hardship to reach a goal. I identify with that kind of heroine.

But the drug addiction, the divorce, the abortion… they make this a story about Ms. Strayed, not about the PCT, and not about hiking. Sixty percent of this book is written about her life off the trail, and though I’d be happy to hear about “I worked through this on this climb”, it’s too much. I want to read about the PCT. I want to read about the rigors of hiking. I don’t want to read about casual sex. Trite. Meaningless. I know the modern feminist novel makes much of these events, but to me they’ve become tropes – yes, yes, you’re exerting your independence. Shall I pat you on the head? The hike exerts her independence, her perseverance, her strength! The other stuff is detritus, best left behind forever.

Which gives us a couple of rules for reading.

  1. Never read a modern novel which has won a Hugo award
  2. Never read a book recommended by Oprah’s book club

Enough for this week. The week in reaction is now scheduled for Midnight on Friday. That clears up the weekend for important stuff.