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.Youre-FiredThe big story this past week? Pretty obviously it was Donald Trump’s decision to reprise his role on the Apprentice, issuing a “Comey, you’re fired” to the now former FBI Director.

As with any decision of this sort, the was a sharp divide along party lines. Some Republicans cheered the news. Democrats, on the other hand, railed against the decision.

Writing in The New Yorker, John Cassidy opined, “At a time like this, it is important to express things plainly. On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump acted like a despot.”

Oh, spare me. The republic will survive.

Generally speaking, the hiring and firing of federal bureaucrats is not a terribly interesting topic. But in Comey’s case, a few words are in order.

For my part, I lost all respect for the man last summer when he failed to recommend charges against a clearly guilty Hillary Clinton in the Servergate scandal.

Then, just a week before the November vote, Comey claimed he was reopening the investigation, only to shut it down just a few days later. This made Comey appear indecisive.

A third failure of judgment on Comey’s part was his decision to launch an investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russia, based, as it was, in part on the debunked “Golden Shower” dossier.

So we have an FBI Director who wouldn’t recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, against whom there was a mountain of evidence suggesting serious wrongdoing during her term as Secretary of State, but who continued to doggedly pursue the case against Donald Trump, a case notable for its complete lack of actual evidence.

So, should Comey have been fired? Yes.He failed the biggest test of his career when he refused to recommend charges against a clearly guilty Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, the American people showed better judgment than he did by refusing to put her in office.

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cinco de mayo battle of puebla

The Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862.

Welcome one and all to this year’s TWIR Edition Cinco de Mayo! For those of you not down with the whole Cinco de Mayo thing, it’s a Mexican holiday celebrating the Mexican army’s 1862 beat down of the French at the battle of Puebla.

While reading through the Wikipedia entry on the Cinco de Mayo, I found this interesting little bit,

Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48 and the 1858-61 Reform War. The Reform War was a civil war which pitted Liberals (who believed in separation of church and state and freedom of religion) against the Conservatives (who favored a tight bond between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mexican State).

The article doesn’t say where the liberals’ got their idea about the separation of church and state, but one would suppose that the US Constitution, ratified less than a century before, had at least some effect on their thinking.

Contrary to what the ACLU would like you to believe, the separation of church and state is a Biblical idea, one that took root in nations influenced by the Protestant Reformation. Long before Clarence Darrow showed up for the Scopes Monkey Trial, Calvinists were diligent about keeping government out of their churches and churches out of their government.

On the other hand, the Roman Church-State does not look too kindly on this idea. For Rome, church and state are one, which goes a long way to explaining the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. Roman prelates would find some poor soul guilty of heresy against Holy Mother Church, say, disbelieving the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the mass, and then proceed to turn him over to the civil authorities who could carry out the “appropriate” punishment for the “crime.”

On a slightly less serious note, the Cinco de Mayo has become, in recent decades in the US, another excuse to party.

For example, when I went to the University of Cincinnati back in the day, there was this annual thing called the Cinco de Stratford. Stratford was a street near campus where a lot of the frat houses were located. And every May 5th they’d hold a big bash.

This was a long running event, until finally one year things got a bit out of hand. As I recall, the evening’s festivities turned into something of a riot, the crowning glory coming when some joker decided to set fire to a couch in the middle of the street. Neither the University fathers nor the Cincinnati cops were terribly amused. And that, as they say, was that.

But enough already about the Cinco de Mayo. Let’s look at the goings on from this past week.

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Trump_Syria_MissilesThis past week, what has it brought? Quite a bit and nothing good. At least that’s how it looks from where I sit. Among the gifts that came our way were a flip-flopping president, wars and rumors of wars, and the traditional IRS tax deadline.

Put Not Your Trust In Princes

The psalmist tells us, “Put not your trust in princes, not in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Wise words those, and one’s that Christians would do well to heed when talking politics. And the words and actions of President Trump drove this point home this past week.

America First. That was a consistent motto of Trump the candidate.

This platform was not original with Trump. It hearkened back to the days prior to WWII when a movement by that name arose. The goal America Firsters was to keep America out of WWII.

In Trump’s case, it was a reference to the many ongoing conflicts the US has found itself in.

Trump made a number of excellent statements during the campaign about having better relations with Russia and ending America’s involvement in Syria.

Trump questioned NATO calling it obsolete. And he was exactly correct in doing so.

But this past week, Trump repudiated all this.

Late last week, on the flimsiest pretext, he lobbed 59 Cruise missiles at Russia’s ally Syria. This one act likely destroyed any hope of Trump ever repairing relations with Russia and embroiled the US deeper than ever in the Syrian conflict, a war which the US has no business fighting.

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Susan_Rice,

Susan Rice

The news came fast and furious this past week I seem to say that a lot, but the past seven days have been off the charts. Let’s take a look at it.

On Trump

It seems like longer than that, but it was just last weekend that alt-media superstar Mike Cernovich revealed that Obama administration official Susan Rice was the one who requested the unmasking of Trump transition team officials.

In March Trump sent and outraged tweet claiming that Obama “wiretapped” him, which prompted howls of protest from the mainstream media. Trump had no proof they said. What do they say now?

If one were to take the term “wiretap” in the strictest literal sense, then the revelations about Rice do not support Trump’s allegation. But if we understand “wiretap” as a general term for surveillance, then, yes, the story certainly does back up Trump.

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Happy April Fool’s Day! And good April Fool that I am, I find myself hard at work once again to bring you my weekly blogging awesomeness.

Well, okay. Maybe awesomeness is a little too strong. I’ll settle for weekly blogging not-too-horribleness.

At any rate, I am kinda pumped about this week’s topic, namely the Federal Reserve. In short, I’m fed up with it.

But more than that, there are few things in life that bring joy to my heart more than the thought of dishing out a good beat down to ne’er do well boys and girls at the dear Federal Reserve.

I find it, how shall I say….cathartic. Yes, that’s it! Cathartic! And since it’s been a little while since I’ve dissed the Fed, I expect that it will prove all the more so.

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Panopticon_5.jpgEnglish philosopher Jeremy Bentham is best known today for his utilitarian ethics, in which he posited that “the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the measure of right and wrong.” This of course is far from Christian ethics which posits that the law of God is the measure of right and wrong.

Perhaps less well known is that Bentham left directions that, upon his death, his body was to be publicly dissected and his head mummified.

His requests were dutifully carried out, and the philosopher’s mummified haed actually was for many years put on public display at University College London.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Eventually, the head became the object of student pranks and was removed from public view.

The college administrators who made this decision apparently did not share Bentham’s utilitarian ethics. Had they done so, they would have been forced to leave his head on public display, subject as it was to all manner of abuse. After all, Bentham’s mummified noggin provided far more happiness to far more people when it was available to the student pranksters than it ever did after it was locked away.

But there’s another development for which Bentham is famous. Oddly enough, it’s for an idea he had for a new type of prison that he called the Panopticon.

In Bentham’s words, the Panopticon was,

A building circular… The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference – The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed… from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence – The whole circuit reviewable with little, or…without any, change of place. Once station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell.

Admittedly, Bentham’s design was rather ingenious. But the idea of an all seeing eye in a guard tower, men who had the power to obverse all while they themselves remained unobservable, that’s just a bit creepy.

Thankfully, we don’t have to deal with this kind of surveillance in our everyday lives. Or do we?

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March MadnessAh, March madness, AKA man cave season. I had a boss once who always took off starting the Thursday of the first tournament game and spent his whole weekend binge watching college basketball. I’m guessing he probably wasn’t alone.

I’m not quite that hardcore, but I do love me a little college hoops too, especially when my Cincy Bearcats are playing well. Nice win tonight over K-State!

Of course, watching basketball has also manages to interfere with writing, which is why I getting a late start with this week’s TWIR, which is why this won’t get posted until Saturday. But hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

On a more philosophical note, it seems to me that March Madness isn’t limited to the basketball court, but can be found in any number of places having nothing at all to do with Mr. Naismith’s invention. Take for example…

Monetary Madness

There are few, if any, examples of mass derangement to rival the hoopla surrounding a meeting of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Eight times a year we’re treated to weeks of speculation about the FOMC’s upcoming decision, will they or will they not raise interest rates.

These meetings, as well as the Fed chairman’s semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony before Congress, are breathlessly reported on by the mainstream media.

To give you a sense of the absurdity of the coverage, back in the day when Alan Greenspan was in charge of the Fed, there were people who believed they could tell what would be done with interest rates based upon which hand “The Maestro” used to carry his briefcase.

We were treated to another such round of absurdity this past week as Janet Yellen, high priestess of the FOMC herself, sauntered forth from the bowels of Eccles Building to announce to the world her latest oracle: The economy’s awesome and we’re hiking interest rates.

All this was reported with the utmost seriousness by the mainstream financial press who dutifully played their roll as Fed echo chamber.

All, that is, except for one.

As Zero Hedge reports, Kathleen Hays of Bloomberg TV was perplexed at just how a supposedly data dependent Fed – the Fed is always talking about how their decisions on interest rates depend on economic data – could hike interest rates at a time when hard economic data is in a downward spiral.

The Bloomberg report’s pointed questions apparently both annoyed and frightened t he high priestess who never really answered the questions put to her.

And so it goes.

An even better question then why the Fed is choosing to raise interest rates into a deteriorating economy is why the Fed should have any say in interest rates at all.

Interest rates are the price of money, and as with the price of all other goods and services, interest rates ought to be set by the free market, not the monetary politburo called the FOMC.

There is no sound Biblical, constitutional, or economic argument for central banks, central bankers, or the fixing of interest rates by them.

But while sound reason based on Scripture leads to the rejection of central banking, the Marxists love it. In fact, the establishment of a central bank was one of the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto. There, Marx on Engels advocated for the, “Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

In the US, the central bank is called the Federal Reserve Bank, AKA “The Fed.”

That’s right. The button pushing boys and lever pulling girls in the Eccles building (that the Fed’s headquarters) are the dupes, slaves, and minions of one of history’s most destructive thinkers.

Actually, if you throw in the money printing madness inspired by one John Maynard Keynes, you can make that two of history’s most destructive thinkers.

Stop the monetary madness! End the Fed!

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