Monday, September 29, 2008
The measure was voted down 228-205, so for now it is being re-worked, and the fight must go on!
Please don't lets "rest on our laurels" - we have lots of work to do to make sure this doesn't pass at all!
You can see how your Representatives voted and then take action (i.e. thank them, or reprimand them and then strongly urge them to do the RIGHT thing this coming week). The next vote could be taken as early as this Thursday. We have our work cut out for us! Please call (202-224-3121 capitol switchboard) your Representatives and urge them to vote 'NAY'.
The Apologetics Library has been causing quite a stir at our church, and several people have commented on how much they have already benefited from the resources we have there. We are looking forward to placing new materials on the shelves soon!
It is VERY exciting to be a Christian, "always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." To watch people who have had questions, but have not known the answers, walk away equipped is so meaningful and exhilarating! We are praying that many hearts will be opened and changed.
Soli deo gloria!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.
We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy - all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment - and prevent the market's attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.
Last night the president addressed the nation about the financial crisis. There is no point in going through his remarks line by line, since I'd only be repeating what I've been saying over and over - not just for the past several days, but for years and even decades.
Still, at least a few observations are necessary.
The president assures us that his administration "is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets." Care to take a guess at whether the Federal Reserve and its money creation spree were even mentioned?
We are told that "low interest rates" led to excessive borrowing, but we are not told how these low interest rates came about. They were a deliberate policy of the Federal Reserve. As always, artificially low interest rates distort the market. Entrepreneurs engage in malinvestments - investments that do not make sense in light of current resource availability, that occur in more temporally remote stages of the capital structure than the pattern of consumer demand can support, and that would not have been made at all if the interest rate had been permitted to tell the truth instead of being toyed with by the Fed.
Not a word about any of that, of course, because Americans might then discover how the great wise men in Washington caused this great debacle. Better to keep scapegoating the mortgage industry or "wildcat capitalism" (as if we actually have a pure free market!).
Speaking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the president said: "Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.
"Doesn't that prove the foolishness of chartering Fannie and Freddie in the first place? Doesn't that suggest that maybe, just maybe, government may have contributed to this mess? And of course, by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, hasn't the federal government shown that the "many" who "believed they were guaranteed by the federal government" were in fact correct?
Then come the scare tactics. If we don't give dictatorial powers to the Treasury Secretary "the stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet." Left unsaid, naturally, is that with the bailout and all the money and credit that must be produced out of thin air to fund it, the value of your retirement account will drop anyway, because the value of the dollar will suffer a precipitous decline. As for home prices, they are obviously much too high, and supply and demand cannot equilibrate if government insists on propping them up.
It's the same destructive strategy that government tried during the Great Depression: prop up prices at all costs. The Depression went on for over a decade. On the other hand, when liquidation was allowed to occur in the equally devastating downturn of 1921, the economy recovered within less than a year.
The president also tells us that Senators McCain and Obama will join him at the White House today in order to figure out how to get the bipartisan bailout passed. The two senators would do their country much more good if they stayed on the campaign trail debating who the bigger celebrity is, or whatever it is that occupies their attention these days.
F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks' manipulation of interest rates creates the boom-bust cycle with which we are sadly familiar. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, he described the foolish policies being pursued in his day - and which are being proposed, just as destructively, in our own:
Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion.
To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection - a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end... It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.
The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.
The very people who have spent the past several years assuring us that the economy is fundamentally sound, and who themselves foolishly cheered the extension of all these novel kinds of mortgages, are the ones who now claim to be the experts who will restore prosperity! Just how spectacularly wrong, how utterly without a clue, does someone have to be before his expert status is called into question?
Oh, and did you notice that the bailout is now being called a "rescue plan"? I guess "bailout" wasn't sitting too well with the American people.
The very people who with somber faces tell us of their deep concern for the spread of democracy around the world are the ones most insistent on forcing a bill through Congress that the American people overwhelmingly oppose. The very fact that some of you seem to think you're supposed to have a voice in all this actually seems to annoy them.
I continue to urge you to contact your representatives (202-224-3121) and give them a piece of your mind. I myself am doing everything I can to promote the correct point of view on the crisis. Be sure also to educate yourselves on these subjects - the Campaign for Liberty blog is an excellent place to start. Read the posts, ask questions in the comment section, and learn.
H.G. Wells once said that civilization was in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.
The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder.
Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we're being told it's unavoidable.
The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
- The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
- Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
- Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process. There goes your country.
Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don't make me laugh.
Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes.
Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.
Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them (202-224-3121)! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.
The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?
When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?
Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Mom did this drawing from a photograph that was taken of me when I was a toddler.
"Butterflies" - A beautiful drawing (from a book cover), by Abby (she is an artist, even if she says she isn't!) :)
Kitty Cat, by yours truly. (pencil drawing)
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I remember hearing last year at this time, all of the sub-prime mortgage craziness while listening to the BBC, and at that time it seemed like the problem was "so far away."
As Christians, we need to use our common sense, whether that means removing our $$ from WaMu (as it might fail soon), or purchasing precious metal investments, or stocking up on food and non-perishables, et cetera.
But, at times like these, we especially need to remember the wonderful words from Psalms... "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled." Psalm 46:1-3
Let's remember Who's ultimately in control... of everything!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Tuesday morning was a sunny day for the most part. We received word from Phoebe that we had received over one inch of rain back in Texas, something that was greatly needed there, as was in Arkansas when we were up there.
Our plans for the day were to head down to Wiener and help Grandma "Night-night" clean her house. Oh, and to try to find her keys. We prayed that the Lord would help us find them, if it was His will. Apparently it was not His will for us to find them, because we searched and searched and searched for them. In her car, under her couches, under papers, etc., etc., but to no avail. We finally thought of one more option. Maybe, just maybe, Uncle Paul might have a spare key to her car. Well, we would have to wait and ask him when we went to dinner that night.
In the mean time, we straightened up Grandma Night-night's kitchen a little, took out the garbage, and generally cleaned up around the place some. We wished we could have had a whole week with you, Grandma! Sorry that we were not able to do all that much.
Dad did trim the hedges on the side of her house though...err, he did what he could with a pair of 2" bladed loppers Why? Because....well, because...hummm. Can you guess? Ah ha! The keys to great-grandma's storage shed were on the same key ring that her house keys and her car keys were on. Remember? Those are the keys that are lost, right? (Thanks, Dad, for laboring hard at that task for over an hour in the hot sun. I know Grandma appreciated that very much.)
Well, we did what we could with the time we had and cleaned up Grandma "Night-night's" kitchen, which included cleaning the cabinet doors, wiping off the stove top, straightening and organizing the items on the counters, sweeping the floor, and doing the dishes. That was just the kitchen. Grandma McKnight has been given lots of canned foods and dry goods over the past half-decade, and it has begun to pile up. She dosen't really have a designated pantry, but in one of the bedrooms is what I would call her "storehouse" for food like the Bible Character Joseph was assigned with in Egypt. This room was in disarray, to say the least, and needed much attention. So, Grandma Kautt (Grandma McKnight's daughter, my Dad's mother) and I started the process of sorting, organizing, and reshleving items. Grandma McKnight was more than happy to let us have some of the items, so we packed those in boxes and stuffed them in the car. Needless to say, our car was quite a bit fuller when we left Arkansas than when we got there. Nonetheless, we are grateful to God and Grandma "Night-night" for this unique provision of our needs.
As mentioned above, we were planning, the Lord willing, to have dinner with all the Arkansas relatives again Tuesday night, so we all loaded up and headed back up to Jonesboro. No need to mention the mosquitoes though, right. Well, actually there were not as many this trip, surprisingly!
After dinner at Western Sizzlin' we all headed over to Peyton and Terri Lynn's house to visit for awhile. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of this. I guess I'm just not used to being the photographer. Joel usually is the photographer, and he wasn't with us. Sorry, Joel, Mom, Abby, and Phoebe. I will try to remember to take more photos if there is ever another trip like this. Oh...and I'll try not to drop the camera either while trying to get up to the train tracks! : -(Besides, I was at the tracks about a minute before the train got there anyway, so I guess I should have taken a few more seconds to put the strap over my wrist. If I would have done this, I would not have dropped the camera when I tripped over that rock (or was it a pine cone?), and I probably would not have had to put the memory stick back into the camera, or the battery either, right? (Yes, all of this happened to me, and, amazingly, I reached the tracks about 45 seconds to a minute before the train actually zipped past. That's what jogging every morning will do for you, right guys?)
The train for which I nearly destroyed our camera while in route to the tracks!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
So, I would like to apologise for not keeping you all updated on the happenings around the Kautt Haus. I "hit the ground running" as it were as soon as I arrived back. I have written up some thoughts concerning our recent excursion, but unfortunately they are on Joel's pc, and I have been having a bit of a problem accessing them. I will try my best and have them posted this week! ;)
Besides that, here are some of the events of the past couple of weeks:
- Labor Day - Hurricane Gustav slams into the Gulf Coast wrecking havoc
- The Republican National Convention is "post-poned" due to the hurricane, Tue. is the "first" real night of events. We watched quite a lot of the goings on, and to be honest with you I was quite disgusted by the end of all of the McCain propaganda I heard and saw. I am not a fan of his!
- Sarah Palin accepts the RNC's nomination to be the Vice President of the USA. Her speech was very interesting, and I was appreciative of her views. Still not voting for her though.
- Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty holds a "counter" convention - The Rally for the Republic - in Minneapolis, drawing at least 13,000 supporters. Media coverage was very strong for this event, C-Span2 covered the entire venue on their network. I was so excited to hear about that!
- Dad begins a series of sermons on the "7-C's of history" - about the importance of Apologetics at our church. We hold the grand opening of our Creation Library - a good turnout. People are beginning to see the connections. Beliving in a literal 6 day, 24-hour creation is the foundation to the rest of the Bible. Undermine it and you undermine the authority of the Word of God.
- It continues to be hot in Texas. Though, right now it looks like rain, and earlier this evening it was sprinkling.
- Ron Paul announces a very important announcement scheduled for this coming Wed. at the National Press Club in D.C.
- Pray for the people of Cuba and Hati who have been hit hard by 4 major tropical storms in the last several weeks. At last count, over 300 had perished in Hati alone.
- Hurrican Ike is set to hit the Gulf Coast this week. Texas and Louisiana brace against the approaching storm.
- There are now less than 60 days until the general election here in the US. Pray for Righteousness to prevail. "Righteousness exalts a nation..."
- We draw inspirition from The Hiding Place a film based on the life and testimony of Corrie ten Boom and her family - hider of Jews and outcasts in Nazi occupied Holland during the second world war. I highly recommend this film to you and your family. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
- We begin preparations to represent our Uncle Jim & Aunt Naomi's ministry at this years National Missionary Convention in Tulsa, OK. This year's convention is November 20-23 at the Tulsa convention center. We attended the NMC in 2000.
Those are just some of the major events that have been happening lately. We need to constantly be lifting up our nation and her many needs to our loving heavenly Father. We need your mercy and guidance O Lord.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008