China Flu in Montana 5/3/2020

Just as expected, now that Montana is removing the unconstitutional, poorly thought out, and ill advised restrictions on individual liberties, the story from the “experts” at IHME has changed:

Projections unavailable

Long-term projections are unavailable for this location. Our model does not account for easing social distancing or quantify the risk of resurgence.

It’s what we’ve always known, if the model doesn’t account for easing social distancing, and the impact model with social distancing changes wildly, the experts have been clueless from day one. Why was the country shut down, if the model doesn’t show what would happen without social distancing? Undoubtedly that’s a different model…

Political Stability

The United States is becoming more and more polar. The root cause of this divide is simply the over-reach of government. When the government regulates everything from what you eat, see, breathe, can achieve, where you live, the cost of living, when you can legally kill a baby, or even the response to a government labeled pandemic, the citizens are forced to have very strong “political” views. However, those views are only “political” in the sense that they determine which party a person typically associates with.

Classically, political views had to do with liberalism versus conservatism, or maybe state’s rights versus federal rights. That is why individuals in their daily lives don’t have knock-down-drag-out fights and Democrats and Republicans generally get along. Working with many Democrats, I find we often see issues the same way. Recently a colleague and I found common ground over burning food in our cars. We both agree that it’s a silly practice, and if the Iowa caucus wasn’t so early, then neither of us believe we would be burning our food in our cars. We also agree that we need to take care of the environment and there is a need to continually innovate how we live to enable a more productive society. However he voted for Hillary while I voted for Trump. In an honest moment, we both admit we held our noses and pulled the lever.

What does that mean for the future of the United States? If we want political stability, we have to drastically cut government regulation, and we have to drastically change the expectations of government. We do not want the government to regulate so much of our lives. Our success is based on self-determination and self-governance.

China Flu in Montana 4/27/2020

Some people asked why I’m doing this. It’s because I don’t trust the model. This shows that the model is changing wildly on a almost daily basis. Also note that the narrative is changing from “we’re flattening the curve so hospitals can respond” to “our actions are justified because it’s stopped the spread of the China Flu.” That’s a drastic shift in narrative.

Finally notice that this is the Gate’s Foundation model; that’s an important footnote.

Bill Gate’s IHME Model

Judicial Stability

An efficient and just system of judgement is required for national stability. In the recent past, the United States’ Department of Justice has requested the ability to suspend the right to a trial indefinitely during times of social upheaval and national emergencies. The cause of this disastrous initiative, however, is that the judicial system has long ago abrogated it’s charter of justice for a policy of legalism and activism. Other people have stated the same thing using a phrase like “the justice system has been weaponized.”

Chistopher Caldwell spoke about this at Hillsdale College. While he is tracing the partisan divide, one of his premises is that the courts have started using legislation to define morals and standards. For example, if schools must be desegregated and culturally diverse, then the courts are issuing orders to bus children, and have created a definition for what is acceptable integration. Hopefully the folly of a court trying to set standards for cultural integration in a school system is readily apparent.

In such a case, the court has no authority, and has inverted the role of the court. The court should be using case and common law to promote justice. The court should not be using the guise of social justice to promote case and common law.

In addition, the courts changing their purpose from justice to social justice, has been advocated by Democrats for many years. By using the courts, Democrats are distancing themselves politically from the unexpected, unintended, and calamitous impacts of their policies. It becomes the courts’ failure, and politicians blame the courts instead of accepting accountability and responsibility for creating horrible laws and programs.

The Democrats are not alone in creating legislation that is unsustainable. Republicans are also trying to legislate morality, and that’s how you get ridiculous programs and institutions like the FISA courts. To get an efficient and just judicial system in America, we have to repeal all the “laws” that attempt to legislate morality, and return the responsibility for moral decisions to individuals and their churches.

Read more: The Roots of Our Partisan Divide by Chrisopher Caldwell

Read even more: Exodus 23:6-9

Social Stability

Among Christians, it’s well known that marriage between one man and one woman is the basic building block of all society. Of all the religions, only Christianity respects both partners equally. And remembering that health and prosperity are the result of living life in a manner that is congruent with natural law, it makes sense that Christianity produces stability. This theme of living as a good christian, is heavily reinforced in the Bible. Time and again it mentions that living by the Mosaic law, and respecting the teachings of the Messiah are the critical component to social stability.

A good example of this theme is the mostly peaceful transfer of power from King David to King Solomon. In that story, found in the first two chapters of Kings, David gives advice to Solomon. The essential ingredient is:

2 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2I am going the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; 3and keep the charge of Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.

American Standard Version. 1995 (1 Ki 2:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

In this passage, David is explicit to Solomon that Solomon’s success will be directly proportional to keeping the charge of Jehovah. David clearly understands that Christian principles are the stabilizing influence of a nation, and that a nation’s leader must exemplify Christianity.

The principles espoused by Christians are absolutely required for a society to be stable. In the present, we find that a significant and increasing portion of the population no longer adheres to Christian principles. We are experiencing the breakdown of society, and the only fix is to turn our hearts and minds to God.

Hear More: Ray Stevens “Safe at home”

Economic Stability

The Messiah, being born in 4 BC and passing around 30/33 AD, lived through a major economic upheaval in the Roman Empire. The Early Republic after 211 BC, had a regulated monetary supply, with the basic coin being the Denarius. Every other coin was a fraction of the Denarius. For example the Sestertius was denominated as 1/4 of a Denarius. Similar to the Greeks, the Romans minted their coins out of silver, and although the coins had some intrinsic value, the denomination of the coins didn’t necessarily exactly match the differences in the weight. So although a Sestertius was 1/4 of the value of the Denarius, the Sestertius wasn’t necessarily 1/4 of it weight. A Denarius, when it was first minted and standardized, was made of nearly pure silver and had a theoretical weight of 4.5 grams. You would expect that a Sestertius would weight 1/4 of 4.5 grams or around 1.1 grams, but it did not.

The first major disruption to currency that likely influenced the Messiah, was the move from a Republican form of government to a dictatorship. When that happened, Julius Caesar, re-minted the coinage and placed his image on the coins. This may seem like a minor change, but consider the cost involved with taking all the coinage and re-casting it… Crazy… So how did Julius Caesar finance this change? Simple, he reduced the weight of a Denarius from 4.5 grams to 3.9 grams. I conclude that even a “minor” change such as changing the design of coins, inevitably brings unintended consequences and those often damage the economy. The philosopher Epictetus agrees: “Whose image does this sestertius carry? Trajan’s? Give it me. Nero’s? Throw it away, it is unacceptable, it is rotten.” And this continued, every Caesar re-cast the coins to have their own image.

The second, and far larger change, was August Caesar’s coinage reform. Augustus re-based the currency, so while a Sestertius retained it’s value of 1/4 of a Denarius, the next smaller coin, a Dupondius, dropped from 1/5 of a Denarius to 1/8 of a Denarius. Mathematically, Augustus’s changes make sense. August used a multiplier of 2 between each coin, so the coins followed a progression of 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, etc., of a Denarius. Augustus also changed the Sestertius from a silver coin to a bronze coin, and introduced to gold coins that were more valuable than a Denarius. These changes were massive, and think about the impact if all your $5 bills instantly because worth $2.

In summary, the Roman empire continued to debase the intrinsic value of their currency, and emperors constantly changed the value of unit of monetary exchange. This is not economic stability., and now we have the context to understand more about the Messiah’s answer to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:15.

15Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might ensnare him in his talk. 16And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why make ye trial of me, ye hypocrites? 19Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a denarius. 20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22And when they heard it, they marvelled, and left him, and went away.

American Standard Version. 1995 (Mt 22:15). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

To me the lynch-pin of the Messiah’s response is an in-depth understanding “for thou regardest not the person of men.” I find that the Pharisees’ trap is based on trying to get the Messiah to make a statement about the person on the coin, or the value of the coin. They did not expect that the Messiah would highlight their misunderstanding of tribute versus the intrinsic value of a coin and the necessity of a standard unit of exchange. I read the Messiah’s response as “Caesar’s monetary system is Caesar’s. God’s monetary system is God’s.” It was a masterful response, and hence why the Pharisees marveled: the Messiah struck straight to the core of why the Roman Empire wasn’t as productive as it could be.

Peace leads prosperity

Perhaps it doesn’t need to be said, but prosperity is never increased during or by war. That is why economic, social, judicial, and political stability is so important. These four conditions are fundamental to personal freedom, and inter-personal relationships.

  • Economic stability is directly tied to private property, free markets, and true price discovery of those markets. It also requires a well known and quantifiable medium of exchange: money.
  • Social stability results from shared and appreciably magnanimous morals and values.
  • Judicial stability is defined by the rule of law, which is the opposite of the rule of man.
  • Political stability is achieved by having a well defined and limited government.

Read more: Why Did United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements in Living During the Last Century?