Modern Pensées

Reconsidering theology, philosophy, culture, economics, and politics

Archive for March 2010

Best Links of the Week

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In one of the weirder stories in recent memory… former head of NASDAQ and convicted swindler of $50,000,000,000, Bernie Madoff was severely beaten.  There are several details that are really strange though, Yahoo has the full article.  Apparently the incident happened back in December of 2009.  It involves a homosexual prison gang.  Madoff’s injuries are really bad, ‘facial fractures, lacerations, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.’  I do recall that Madoff was hospitalized back in December for ‘falling out of a bunk bed,’ and remember being skeptical about that.  Apparently, Madoff spends his time in the medium security prison giving out financial advice to inmates and he has also befriended the head of the Columbo crime family Carmine Persico.  Apparently also, former Lehman Brothers CEO was beaten up also by a former Lehman employee.  You can’t make this story up.

Google quits censoring in China.

Dwight Schrute would be proud of Shell Oil Company and a subsidiary Virent, for making biofuel gasoline from beets.

Bill Gates wants a nuclear reactor.

World famous thief Gerald Blanchard is caught due to a disgruntled Wal-Mart employee.

The “Blatant Chicanery” of Obama’s Executive Order

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Andy McCarthy has an important piece over at the National Review explaining why President Obama’s Executive Order amounts to ‘blatant chicanery.’

Fact:  Congress enacts legislation.

Fact:  Executive orders can be rescinded at any time.

Fact:  Executive orders cannot be used to strike provisions in a bill enacted by the Legislative Branch.

I am well aware that God is sovereign over all of these matters.  However, this is no cause for political fatalism or lack of activism.  This healthcare bill could very well slowly bankrupt our nation.

Also, Planned Parenthood is pretty happy about the new bill, here is their response.

Christopher Hitchens Has a Christian Brother, Peter Hitchens

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I recently taught a class on Nietzsche and Christianity.  I showed a film called Collision on the final day of class.  The film follows three public debates between Reformed Pastor Douglas Wilson and prominent writer/atheist Christopher Hitchens.  I had a student in my class who grew up with J.R.R. Tolkien, and many of the other Inklings.  He also knew Peter Hitchens, the brother of Christopher Hitchens, and former atheist turned Christian.  I was poking around Doug Wilson’s blog recently and came across this video.

Apparently, Peter has written a book analyzing the New Atheists entitled, The Rage Against God.  It looks interesting.  Daily Mail has an excellent read chronicling Peter and Christopher’s relationship.

Best Links of the Week

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Woman decides not to abort child because of Tim Tebow Superbowl commercial.

Keith Mathison of Ligonier recommends some books on the Person of Christ.

Thai protestors pour out 132 gallons of their own blood on the steps of government headquarters.

Al Mohler’s list of the top ten books pastors should read in 2010.

Episcopal Church Ordains Second Gay Bishop

Mark Driscoll gives a brief biography of St. Patrick.

What a Happy Meal from McDonald’s looks like after one year.

Benny Hinn Rant on Joel Osteen, Seeker-Friendly Churches, False Gospels, and Oprah

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1. This is really weird and left me a bit in shock

2. The irony is thick  (self-awareness?)

Your thoughts?

Written by Michael Graham

March 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

The Scam of Obamanomics

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I remember during my time in undergrad at University of Florida several interactions with the staunch political left.  I was there during the 2000 election and for the primaries and for some of the buildup to the 2004 election.  I recall one of the main critiques of the those staunch left was the relationship of the Republican party with “big business.”   They would cite ties with oil and such.  Those ties definitely existed within the Bush administration.  The Bush family is from Texas and has roots in oil.  VP Dick Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton.  Their critiques would not bother me if it were not for par for the course for the left and right alike.

Here is one of the many scams of Obamanomics…

The big banks made a boatload of money this past year.  One of the big ways they did it was through a genius little scam the Obama administration (and the quasi-independent Federal Reserve) has setup for them.  Its pretty simple.  The Fed has the interest rate that banks can borrow (almost limitlessly) at zero percent interest.  These same banks then with that zero percent loan money but up US Treasury Bills (whose interest rates vary from relatively small to 4.5%+ for the 30 year variety).  The banks get rich, Obama gets some financial donors, and the American taxpayer gets screwed.  In effect, the American taxpayer is subsidizing the big banks.  I am all for capitalism.  I am not for subsidizing these banks through this scam.  Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and the supposed chief architect of our financial recovery, has taken the opportunity to make sure Goldman Sachs gets very wealthy and that his former competitors get less-than-favorable deals with the federal government.  Unimaginable greed drives these scammy deals.  The accumulation of wealth is not intrinsically evil, but the means of accumulating that wealth should have at least some level of integrity and morality.

I think Timothy Carney’s book entitled Obamanomics:  How Barack Obama is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, likely has some similar themes.

Written by Michael Graham

March 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Thomas Sowell on Healthcare Reform

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For those of you who don’t know Sowell, you should.  He is an African American economist and social commentator.  His path started with Marxism, then the USMC, then a GED, then Howard University, transferred to Harvard University (graduated magna cum laude: bachelors in economics), then to Columbia University (masters in economics), and finally University of Chicago (d.phil in economics).  I pesonally find his writing lucid and prescient.  The following quote comes from a piece Sowell wrote for TownHall.

Back when the “single payer” was the patient, people were more selective in what they spent their own money on. You went to a doctor when you had a broken leg but not necessarily every time you had the sniffles or a skin rash. But, when someone else is paying, that is when medical care gets over-used — and bureaucratic rationing is then imposed, to replace self-rationing.

Money is just one of the costs of people seeking more medical care than they would if they were paying for it with their own money. Both waiting lines and waiting lists grow longer when people with sniffles and minor skin rashes take up the time of doctors, while people with cancer are waiting.

In country after country, the original estimates of government medical care costs almost always turn out to be gross under-estimates of what it ultimately turns out to cost.

Even when the estimates are done honestly, they are based on how much medical care people use when they are paying for it themselves. But having someone else pay for medical care virtually guarantees that a lot more of it will be used.

Nothing would lower costs more than having each patient pay those costs. And nothing is less likely to happen.

Written by Michael Graham

March 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm

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