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New York_Times Square_2020_03_23

An almost empty street is seen at Times Square in Manhattan on Monday in New York City. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed rumors that a quarantine would be in place for the state after days of rumors of New York City being put on lockdown. JJOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GETTY

All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean:  he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

  • Leviticus 13:46

“We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years – we are at war. In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren’t doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives,” said Governor DeWine. “Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.” Thus reads the announcement on the Ohio.gov website where the state’s Stay At Home Order is also listed.

Clearly, Governor DeWine takes the coronavirus [the Ohio.gov website calls it COVID-19] outbreak very seriously.  Note the repeated use of military terminology in the quote above.  We are told that “We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years” [apparently, this is a reference to the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish Flu]…“we are at war”…“In time of war”…”we are in a crucial time in this battle”…”What we do now will slow this invader.”

With all this military terminology, one wonders when the Governor plans institute a draft.  Then on second thought, in a way, he already has.  As the website notes, beginning March 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Ohioans are under a Stay At Home Order.  This order is effective until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020 “unless the order is rescinded or modified.”  This order applies to everyone, and as of this writing on March 29, no recension or modification of this order has been announced.  So in a way, all Ohioans already have been drafted into the Governor’s war.

One question that seems not to have been asked in the wake of Governor DeWine’s announcement is, on what authority does he give this order?  Reading through the order, one finds that it contains provisions that shutter a not insignificant portion of the businesses within the state.  What is the legal basis for the Governor’s order?

One possible answer is the Ohio has adopted some form of “Medical Martial Law” legislation that was propagated in the wake of the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009.  Researcher James Corbett produced a video back in 2009 related to the Swine Flu pandemic which he titled Medical Martial Law and which dealt with the legislative response that followed the outbreak of that pandemic.  In his video, Corbett states that something called “The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act” was drafted by the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown University (Jesuits) and Johns Hopkins University.  According to website of The Centers for Law & the Public’s Health, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) “grants public health powers to state and local public health authorities to ensure a strong, effective, and timely planning, prevention, and response mechanisms to public health emergencies (including bioterrorism) while also respecting individual rights.”

The website boasts that forty-four states have adopted MSEHPA in whole or in part, but, curiously, Ohio is not listed among them.  Neither was I able to find anything on other websites linking MSEHPA to Ohio.  That being the case, this model legislation, as dangerous as it is, apparently is not the basis for the Governor’s actions.

According to the language in the Order itself, the basis for the Order is R.C. [Revised Code] 3701.13 which allows the Director of the Ohio Department of Health to “make special orders…for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases.”

That said, although he doesn’t come out and say it directly, Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton (Ohio’s Director of Health) seem eager for the public to see the Stay At Home Order as some fore form of Medical Martial Law.  This can be seen from the Governor’s own words, laden as they are with military terminology.

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Yahoo_Limit Down_2020_03_22_802pm

Yahoo finance reports US stock futures in ‘limit down’ status on Sunday, 3/22/2020.  Worth noting is Yahoo’s attribution of the crisis to the “coronavirus crisis.”  This is incorrect.  Our financial crisis is the responsibility of the Fed and those who justify and encourage its ungodly practices of debt creation, monetary debasement and bailouts.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

That was an interesting week.  Last week, I’m talking about.  The one where, if we are still working, we’re doing so from makeshift home offices, the one where governors are locking down the citizenry of entire states and shutting down their economies, the one where the financial markets continue of crash at a rate comparable to, or even exceeding, that of 1929, and this at a time when the Fed is printing more funny money faster than it ever has.

It would seem that Humpty Dumpty indeed has fallen, and all the king’s horses and men are working feverishly to put him back together.  Will they succeed?  That depends on your definition of success.  It may well be that by printing enough money and bailing out not just individual companies, but entire industries, the powers that be may succeed in extending the current politico-financial system a bit longer.  Maybe another year of so.  Who knows?  Longer term, it is doubtful that the current governmental and financial structures currently in place will be able to survive in their current form.  Change is going to happen.

Just to give you a idea about how desperate some in the political establishment haver become, last week a member of Congress suggested  that the federal government provide every person in America – she did not say citizens, but every person in America, which includes, among others, illegal aliens – with a pre-loaded debit card in the amount of $2,000, which would be renewed with $1,000 per month for a year.  That works out to $660 billion for the first month, then $330 Billion for the next eleven months.  If I’ve done my math correctly, this works out to almost $4.2 trillion.

How does she plan to pay for it?  This Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), wants the Treasury to issue two $1 trillion platinum coins, have the Fed purchase the coins, then have the Treasury sweep the funds into the Treasury General account, from which the money would be disbursed to “every person in America.”

This is nothing but a massive dollar devaluation scheme, not unlike what FDR did in 1933-34 when he forced everyone to turn in his physical gold, then devalued the dollar about 70% against gold.  The biggest difference is that Tlaib’s scheme would be far more aggressive in devaluing the dollar, meaning it would be massively inflationary.  This can easily be seen if we consider the current price os platinum and the amount of investment grade platinum that is currently available.  The current price of platinum in US dollars is $618.61.  According to this article, there are about 8 million total ounces of investment grade platinum bullion available in the world.  At current prices, this means the total value of all investible platinum is about $5 billion.  If the US federal government used this entire 8 million ounces to mint two huge coins weighing 4 million ounces each, this implies that the dollar would be devalued against platinum to approx. 1/400 of its current value.  Put another way, platinum would go from $618.62 per ounce to around $247,444 per ounce.  Other prices would rise accordingly.  Put another way, the dollar would lose 99.75% of its value against platinum.  This is even enough to make an inflationist such as FDR blush.

Of course, it’s highly doubtful that, even if Tlaib’s scheme were put into practice, the coins – if you can call a 4 million troy ounce object a coin at all – would almost certainly be far smaller than in my example above.  This means that the devaluation of the dollar would be far greater than 99.75%

Further, Tlaib claims that her scheme is deficit-neutral, not requiring any new debt to be issued.  Perhaps I’m missing something here or have done my math wrong, but the cost of her program for one year is more than double the $2 Trillion value of her two proposed coins, so where does the other $2 trillion plus come from?

I went through the above exercise in some detail just to give you an example of the sort of absurd nonsense that passes for thinking among our leaders in Washington.  And while Tlaib’s scheme is ridiculous, it’s really not all that much more absurd than proposals being floated by the Trump administration.  Trump is talking about bailing out whole industries, having the federal government own stock of bailed out companies and sending checks to everyone as well.  President Trump himself has gone on record arguing for negative interest rates and quantitative easing.

As in 2008, so it is in 2020.  Government officials are running around with their hair on fire desperately trying to fix a debt crisis by, wait for it…taking on more debt!

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Costco

Signs hanging inside a Costco store notified customers that they were out of supplies on Monday, March 2. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

  • Luke 10:24

What’s my topic?  That’s the first question every writer must answer before starting. Sometimes topics suggest themselves easily.  Other times, coming up with an appropriate subject can be a bit daunting.

With all the events of last week – coronavirus, and the stock market crash to name two – you’d think that finding a topic would be easy.  But it’s been more of a challenge than may seem at first.

I had a number of ideas coming into today and had even written an outline for a possible series addressing ways in which entrenched vested interested manipulate events and the reporting on those events, giving people a false sense of reality and allowing them to surreptitiously advance their own hidden agendas.

Lord willing, I hope to be able to write that series.  But today, it just didn’t seem right.

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NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange. Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

Luke 15:14

Coronavirus live updates:  Washington state weighs mandatory measures to contain outbreak” is the most recent headline on CNBC. As has been the case with countless other headlines over the past few weeks, it announces another possible government action, this time by the State of Washington, to combat the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.  My point in citing this headline is not to commend or to criticize Washington for its program, but merely to illustrate that coronavirus continues to be the lead story in the American press, a position that for the most part it’s held for at least a month.

Admittedly, the coronavirus story has proven difficult for this author to assess.  A big part of the problem is the lack of credible sources.  The Communist Chinese government is not necessarily the most reliable source of information concerning the state of affairs in the country.  Then again, the Western press, specifically the American mainstream media, is no better, at least in the opinion of this author. For example, two weeks ago the New York Times ran a “helpful” opinion piece titled “Let’s Call It Trumpvirus” which attempted to lay the blame for the current coronavirus crisis on the president.

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Coronavirus_Trump Pence

“Mike Pence literally does not believe in science.  It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic.”

Believe the Bible?  Then shut your deplorable, science denying mouth!  That’s what our friends on the progressive left think.  Of course, these also are the same folks who will tell you with a straight face that men can become women, that women can become men, and that there are more genders than Heinz has varieties of ketchup, all which flies in the face of science, the very thing they claim as their source of truth.  But in the minds of the Marxists like Ocasio-Cortez, Christians are science denying Luddites, while they are paragons of scientific rigor.

Not that the secular left’s intolerance is at all surprising.  They’ve made clear their hatred of Christians for years, decades really.  Maybe even longer.

But while one would expect those whose god is government to dislike and hate those who worship the Lord, what this author finds somewhat surprising is the crushing confidence they have in the rightness, and righteousness, of their arguments.

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Coronavirus

CNBC headline on 2/21/20.  They want you to think it’s the Coronavirus that’s behind the stock market selloff, but the truth lies elsewhere.

“But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.”

  • Jeremiah 44:17

In his book Logic, Gordon Clark noted a number of informal logical fallacies.  On page 17, he mentioned, among others, a fallacy called in Latin post hoc ergo propter hoc, or as we would say it in English, “after this, therefore because of this.” This logical error, hereafter the post hoc fallacy, involves asserting that, because event B took place after event A, that A is what caused B.

Now it’s true that there can be a cause and effect relationship between an earlier event and a late event.  In Jeremiah 44, the prophet, speaking for God, states, “You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem…because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger.”  God makes it entirely clear in this passage that the prior disobedience of the people of Judah was the cause of his bringing judgment on Jerusalem.  We don’t have to guess at why the Babylonians leveled Jerusalem and burned the temple in 586 BC, God tells us explicitly both the cause and the effect.

Later in chapter 44, we get the reaction from the people to whom Jeremiah was prophesying.  As it turned out, they didn’t much care for his sermon. Part of their response to Jeremiah was a classic case of post hoc fallacy.  See if you can spot it.

But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offering to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine (Jeremiah 44:17-18).

Did I say, see if you can spot it?  Reading this passage further, it seems to me that there are two post hoc fallacies to be found.  In the first place, the people argue that their burning incense and pouring out drink offerings were the cause of their prosperity when they were in the land, when, in fact, it was God’s grace that provided for them.  Second, they attributed their current state of exile to their worshipping the queen of heaven, when, in fact, the cause of their exile was God’s punishing them for their disobedience.

I bring up the preceding Biblical example of post hoc fallacy to introduce the main point of this post, which is to refute the linkage, put forward by mainstream financial reporters, the outbreak of the Corona virus in China is reason for the recent stock market sell off and spike in the price of gold.

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Eccles_2

The Eccles Building, the main office of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

  • John 3:19-20

The words from John at the top of this post are readily recognized by Christians as coming from Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to inquire of him one night.  The immediate application of Jesus’ words is, of course, to himself as the light who came into the world and was rejected of men, for they loved evil and feared lest their deeds should be exposed.

But while Christ said these words in the context of explaining his person and purpose for coming in the flesh to Nicodemus, his comments have a wider application.  They are a specific case of a broader principle we see in Scripture, that of the Christian principle of openness and honesty.  Those who love the truth do what they do in the open.  They let their light shine before men that others may see their goods works and glorify their Father in heaven.  On the other hand, those who practice evil, those who have something to hide, they do their work in the dark, fearing to be seen by men.

One application of the principle of openness and light is the Christian idea of government as a servant of the people, not as their master.  When the disciples argued about who was the greatest, Jesus explained the Christian concept of leadership, which was radically different from the model the world offered.  Christ explained that the rulers of the Gentiles “exercised lordship” (lorded it over) them, but such was not to be the case among his followers.  Following Jesus example, those who would be first in the Kingdom of Heaven were to be servants of all.

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