Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bakers and Takers

Anyone who has listened to talk radio for any amount of time in the last twenty years probably knows who Rush Limbaugh is, and even if you have not, you probably have some idea of who he is.

People vary greatly in their overall impressions of Mr. Limbaugh, but one thing is for certain. The number of folks who he has not made some impression on is dwindling by the day.

Limbaugh is above all politically conservative, and he seeks to further the agenda of political conservatism in the United States. In this post, I am going to focus exclusively on how conservative principles apply in regard to economics and what some of the primary differences are when compared to the current administrations' economic philosophy which is generally referred to as liberal, progressive, or "big government".

Some of the primary concerns of the left/liberal leaning in the United States is the belief that wealth naturally flows toward those who have wealth already in a free market system unless the government steps in to make "adjustments" in regards to the economic playing field. This sounds on the surface to at least be plausible. They also believe that it is not fair for the wealthy to have such a large piece of the "economic pie" compared to the hard working people who are struggling. The wealthy have such a big piece of pie that we all must divide what remains. Or so they would have us believe.

However, conservative principles, which strongly hold to a much more "hands off" approach to the free market, do not hold to this view. Ironically, Limbaugh himself is a perfect example of this….no, not his speeches from his show, but Limbaugh's life itself serves as a great illustration of free market principles at work.

When Limbaugh began his talk career, talk radio was almost non-existent. Since then, there have been massive changes to the prominence of an entire band of frequency on your radio (AM) and a new phenomenon of FM talk stations has emerged in most major cities. Many, many nationally known radio personalities have been given opportunities to have careers that they otherwise would not have even had the opportunity to have without Limbaugh blazing the trail. Also, whether you agree with their viewpoints or not, I think most would have to agree that talk radio on the whole has made the general population more engaged in the issues of the day than any time in recent times. The spin-off from Limbaugh's success illustrates perhaps the most important fact of free markets kept primarily free(I say primarily free because of obvious roles for government like enforcing contract laws and protecting its citizens from any harm from commercial interests outside their control). The most important fact is that looking at an economy as an economic pie is only accurate when you have control from a central government doling out slices that originate from someone in the private sector generating the pie itself. A wiser way to manage an economy is to see that when individual initiative, creativity, and risk are allowed to flourish, we all become bakers of entirely new pies that simply did not exist prior to our own personal endeavors. The moral to this story is, "Be a baker, not a taker." J

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Wanted to address an issue I believe many Christians struggle with secretly. This is the issue of an assurance of salvation. How does one obtain assurance of salvation? Does not having an internal assurance mean I am not born again?

This post is going to be short and sweet, but I felt the need to post it because I know there have been times I have struggled with these questions, and I know from many personal conversations with close friends who are believers that they have struggled with it also. This is actually my first point to any who relate with this issue.

1. You are NOT alone.

I do not believe that simply wrestling with these insecurities means that one is not born again. However, let me share what has over time become my primary means of dealing with this issue, and, therefore, the number one piece of advice I will give to most I encounter who struggle with insecurities about their faith.

2. No one but God can establish this assurance.

What I mean by this in practical terms is simply that many are either in a position of being unwilling to question even the possibility that they are not born again, or they constantly question whether they are truly born again BECAUSE OF TEACHINGS OF MEN. We all need and CAN be helped by teachers and elders in the faith, but if you are overconfident in your faith because you’ve bought into wrong doctrine about this, the answer is not to simply place your trust in what can be an equally damaging wrong doctrine that causes many to be constantly insecure about their faith. The answer is to WRESTLE with God about this. How do you do this? We have a greater access to the scriptures than any generation prior to us. We have the freedom to cry out to God in prayer daily. These two exercises can NEVER be replaced by the “official” teachings of any XYZ denomination or teacher. “Work out you own salvation with fear and trembling.” I know this seems overly simplified, but I want to be clear that this process, though simple and straightforward, is most assuredly NOT the easy path. However, know that when you receive an assurance from God, your spiritual walk will take on a whole new momentum and intensity. This is a HUGE issue. Don’t ever settle for having anything less than His assurance through His Word and His Spirit!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Amazon Awareness

I am writing this primarily to raise awareness about what is sure to be a growing problem in regards to content that is not only available on the internet, but is also being made more readily available by large big named providers of web content such as I am speaking of content that is PROFOUNDLY objectionable to most individuals I know. Before I go any further, allow me to show you a couple of stories regarding Amazon.

Please take some time to read these stories before reading further into this blog post so that you will understand the points I’m about to make.

I am not a fan of government regulating even MORE than they already do, but things such as this will be used to justify a government control over internet content to the public. This lack of proactive controls by Amazon makes me sick, and even more than their lack of proactive control, their initial attitude and response to the how to pedophilia book’s presence on their site is far beyond sickening. It is infuriating. They equate removing a how-to book on pedophilia as being akin to censorship! The VAST majority of individuals who use Amazon do not know things like this are even available on their site, and the only way to simultaneously keep the government out of the overseer of content business AND keep scum bags like Amazon from using censorship as an excuse to give a platform to PEDOPHILES(!) is to be consistently alert and make our voices heard both by email and by withholding our money from them. Amazon is not the only company to engage in this kind of twisted justification, and we should choose to be as informed as possible about who we give our business to. I know we almost certainly cannot only do business with those whom we agree with; however, there IS a difference between doing business with those whom we disagree with in some issues and choosing to be completely blind to an egregious example like the one mentioned in these stories. More than anything, we should at least be aware enough to send them some sort of communication informing them of our intent to cease doing business with them unless they do not engage in such practices. As you saw in the above stories, the first response of Amazon was to defend their decision, but they eventually yielded to financial pressures that arose soon after. If all else fails, LEARN TO SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE. Refuse to shop til they drop.