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Eccles Building

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

“We have a 2 percent symmetric inflation objective. For a number of years now, inflation has been running under 2 percent, and I consider it an important priority to make sure that inflation doesn’t chronically undershoot our 2 percent objective.” So said outgoing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen last week in the course of assessing her on the job performance over the past year.

According to her, everything else is pretty awesome. Unemployment’s down. The economy’s growing at a 3 percent clip. The stock market may be a little pricey but it’s really nothing to get too excited about.

Why, if it weren’t for that persistently low inflation, she’d be batting close to 1.000 and having an all around MVP year here in 2017.

What shall we say to all this? It seems to me that the first order of business is to translate Yellen’s inflation comments into plain English. Academics, politicians and others who wish to hide their meaning from the general public love to use obscure language. But one of the chief jobs of any Christian teacher, whether he’s a blogger or a preacher it makes no difference, is to penetrate the fog to permit a fruitful discussion.

That said, here’s my translation of Janet Yellen’s Fed Speak: “Our objective here at the Fed is to steal 2 percent of the value of the deplorables’ savings each year by creating credit a pace that is faster than the actual rate of growth of the economy. This, combined with our holding interest rates near 5,000 year lows to keep the rubes from earnings any interest in their savings accounts, represents a one-two punch to the middle class. By employing these policy tools, we enlightened folks here at the Fed can strip mine wealth from unsuspecting nobodies, who don’t deserve what they have anyway, and put it into more worthy hands, namely, those master of the universe types who own the banks and pay our salaries. Unfortunately, I was not as successful in this regard as I would like to have been.”

Now that’s more like it. We’re finally getting somewhere. No doubt, Janet Yellen would be greatly offended by my translation, as would pretty much any other central banker, mainstream economist, investor, or financial commentator. Perhaps some of the defenders central bank orthodoxy in academia, the press and in government really do honestly think that debt-based, central bank issued, fiat currencies actually serve the public interest. But that hardly gets them off the hook. They should know better, for the evidence is overwhelming that the current system – which is of, by and for the bankers – is a massive, and profoundly immoral, wealth transfer mechanism.

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Jack Phillips_SCOTUS

Mary Torres holds up a rolling in in support of cake artist jack Phillips outside the Supreme Court n Washington on Dec. 5.  (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

In perhaps the biggest story of this past week, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The case involves the Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, who in 2012 refused to make a custom wedding cake for a same sex married couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. This set in motion a legal battle that saw Mr. Phillips, a Christian, dragged before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which did not look kindly on his appeals to free speech and the free exercise of his faith.

“I can believe anything I want,” said Commissioner Raju Jaram, “but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.” According to this same article, Phillips was ordered to stop discriminating against gay people, document any customers he refuses to service, provide antidiscrimination training for his staff, and report quarterly for two years.

One commissioner likened Phillips’ actions to those of the Nazis.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Jack Phillips, argued this week before the Supreme Court that the baker’s First Amendment rights were violated by the Commission’s ruling. According to her, the Commission also violated Phillip’s religious liberty by attempting to force him, “to sketch, sculpt, and hand-paint cakes that celebrate a view of marriage in violation of his religious convictions.”

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Martin Luther

Just over a month back, Protestants celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It was a noteworthy occasion. October 31, 2017 marked 500 years since a little known Augustinian monk nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door and changed the course of history.

But while as Protestants we look back with joy at Luther’s bold stand against the papacy and proclamation of the Gospel of Justification by Belief Alone, not everyone was or is so appreciative of his achievements and the achievements of the other Reformers. But to call them unappreciative is really far too mild. The truth is, Luther and his contemporaries were hated unto death by representatives of the Roman Church-State (RCS), who did everything in their power to frustrate the spread of the Gospel in the 16th century.

And their efforts to quash the preaching of the Gospel did not stop in the 16th century, but continue unabated to this day. One example of this is the way the Pope Francis and the RCS attempted to co-opt this year’s Reformation Day celebration and turn it into a great big group hugging, Kumbaya singing rapprochement between Rome and her erring children, the “separated brethren” of the Reformation.

But Rome isn’t the only false church singing a false Gospel siren song in the hopes of wooing Protestants onto the rocks of works righteousness. No, Eastern Orthodoxy wants in on the act too.

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colin_kaepernick_unthanksgiving_festival

Colin Kaepernick exudes joy while celebrating Unthanksgiving on Alcatraz Island, 11/23/2017.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.

    – H. L. Menken

Is any group more hated than the Puritans, or any holiday more than Thanksgiving?

In this very PC age of tolerance, the only unpardonable sin is to lack it.  Speak ill, even in the most hushed tones, of most any people or creed and the cultural Marxists will hew your intolerant self to pieces.  But their fury is selective.

In truth, while they preach universal tolerance, their application of it is quite particular. Same-sex marriage? That’s in. And shame on anyone who speaks ill of it. Or ask yourself, when was the last time you saw any mainstream news outlet take issue with any facet of Islam? It’s the religion of peace, is it not? At least, that’s the official line.

But when it comes to Christianity, that’s another story entirely. Even considered in a broad sense, Christianity certainly finds itself unwelcomed in the halls of power and influence in our post-Christian society.

But if you want to see some real fireworks, bring up the Puritans. We’re told by homosexual movie director and fashion designer Tom Ford they were “uptight.” Noted libertine Hugh Hefner found them to be ” persecuting.”

“Puritanical” has long been a sort of swear word used to denigrate anyone or anything the speaker finds prudish.

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