Saturday, December 12, 2009

Drill Now!

I’ve recently finished reading Newt Gingrich’s book, “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis”. I’ve had it lying about for awhile. I think it came with a magazine subscription. In any case, I finally gave it a read and I must say that this man has a far better grasp of the situation than any lefty tree hugger or Gore-ite I’ve ever seen. He succinctly shows the errors in the arguments of the opposition as he supports the arguments he lays out.

I especially like how he shows what “WE THE PEOPLE” think. Gingrich is a founder of American Solutions for Winning the Future. Their purpose is obvious and they often run surveys to help them in this task. But their results are given in this way: Amongst Republicans (or conservatives), X% feel this way, and Y% feel that way. Amongst Democrats (or liberals), X% feel this way, and Y% feel that way. He does as much for the independents, too. This kind of breakdown gives a more accurate sense of what EVERYBODY feels about a given issue and helps to show that the issue being covered, or the solution for it, has true bipartisan appeal.

Gingrich shows how we got to this point and what needs to change in order to truly free ourselves from our reliance on foreign powers for our energy. But he doesn’t just talk about oil and coal, but alternatives as well. His position is that we need to study and utilize everything we can. Of course, oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear are proven and better than that, all sorts of improvements have been made in the acquisition, refinement and delivery of these fuels. But wind, solar, hydrogen and anything anyone can show to be of value should be researched and developed as well. The idea is being energy independent.

According to Newt’s research, we have enough oil and natural gas within our own territory that we really don’t need foreign oil. And the mere movement toward extracting that oil and gas will in and of itself have a positive impact on prices. This was shown to be true when George W. Bush lifted the presidential moratorium on off shore drilling. The announcement alone caused the price to drop as it lead speculators to figure Congress might lift there’s as well. Immediately, it affected supply just by Bush making the announcement.

And that’s pretty much an example of how easy we can pay less than we are now, and actual development of new refineries, real exploration with the purpose of extracting what’s found will only cause the price to drop further. And Newt shows how that’s already past the preparation stage and merely awaiting the environmental wackos to get the hell out of the way. What’s holding us back is bad government policy, regulation and litigation.

Newt believes that if we attacked this issue the same way we handled things during WWII, we can be well on our way to energy independence in far less than the ten years the lefty idiots think it’ll take. When we needed ships and planes and ammo to win the fight against Nazi fascism, we all pitched in and got the job done. We did it all and we did it all at once. The same attitude can solve the energy situation. All of our energy dollars will eventually be going back into our own country rather than into the pockets of those foreign powers that really don’t much care for us. We don’t need to use less oil. By the time we run out, we could have its replacement ready to go. Those two reasons alone are worth getting started. Call your reps now.

Here's something else you should know: Newt's ideas for stimulating the jobs situation is equally eluminating. Barry and Co don't have clue one about how business works. Less than ten percent of his administration has private sector experience. He still thinks more stimulus packages will do it. What a complete idiot. Go to AmericanSolutions.com and see what real solutions look like and for all you lefty Dem supporters, stop pretending the right-wing has no alternatives. Compared to what the right has, the left has only destruction in mind. Talk about taking us in the wrong direction! But the best part of AmericanSolutions is that they really welcome input from their readers and members.

40 comments:

Randy said...

I've long thought that Newt was one of the smartest men in politics. Unfortunately, I don't think he's electable to a national office. When he's on television, he doesn't come across as a nice guy. Bottom line is Americans want someone in office that they like and Newt isn't likable. I wish it wasn't so.

He'd make a good cabinet member..

4simpsons said...

I agree with Marshall and Randy.

Drill now. More nukes now.

And quit having people with no business experience try to micro-manage the economy. They are destroying it.

Dan Trabue said...

An interesting proposition, Brother Neil.

What if we did that? Not let those with no experience micromanage business? Or those with no environmental credentials manage (or micromanage) environmental issues? Or those with no scientific business micromanage scientific matters?

I'd be fine with letting qualified and balanced economists be in charge of economical decisions as long as we have qualified and balanced scientists and environmentalists and energy experts (and by "energy experts," I don't mean an oil man, for instance) manage our environmental and energy policies.

Makes sense to me. Seems like a point on which we could all agree.

Bubba said...

About Newt, I'm not quite sure that he's such damaged goods that he couldn't run and win high office: any high-profile conservative has long since been "borked" by the leftist media, and any conservative that becomes high profile will face the same treatment.

On the other hand, there are limits to which a politician's personal life can plausibly deviate from the traditional values of social conservatives, and, alongside Rudy Guliani, Newt probably has sped past that limit long ago. And, again like Rudy, Newt isn't exactly a principled fiscal libertarian: perhaps for the sake of appearing to be non-partisan, he's found common cause with some statists over some significant big-government issues.

He's one of the smartest guys in politics (if not one of the shrewdest politicians), but because he's not a principled Reaganite on either cultural matters or economic matters, he wouldn't be my first choice.

Of the serious GOP nominees last time around, I think they all would have made a heckuva Cabinet...

(Rudy - Attorney General; McCain - Secretary of State; Huckabee - Education; Ron Paul - Treasury; Romney - maybe Health and Human Services)

...but none of them were ideal presidential material.

(Of course, none of them hung around with unrepentant domestic terrorists and race-baiting hate-mongers who defiled Christ's name.)

Likewise, Newt would make a great Chief of Staff in an ideal administration, but I'd prefer someone else running the show.

Bubba said...

Neil, you should probably be more clear about whether you oppose economic micro-managing in general or only in specific circumstances: true conservative that he will sometimes claim to be, Dan seems to take your statement as an opportunity to find common ground about letting the government run things, so long as those in charge are experts.


Dan:

"I'd be fine with letting qualified and balanced economists be in charge of economical decisions as long as we have qualified and balanced scientists and environmentalists and energy experts (and by 'energy experts,' I don't mean an oil man, for instance) manage our environmental and energy policies."

("Economical"?)

Your bias is showing: you have no problem with energy experts setting policy, but you exclude "oil men," as if those who have the experience and perspective of work in the actual industry are too biased to make good decisions. You're presumably fine with those who make their living from government grants, so you recommend having "balanced" experts but begin by tilting the field against an entire group of people with actual, real-world expertise: those with industrial experience need not apply.


The more fundamental point is that micromanagement of the economy -- and ultimately our lives -- is a job that no one should try, and a job that no one CAN do.

I quote Thomas Sowell, from his book The Vision of the Anointed, comparing the "anointed" progressives and the "benighted" conservatives. (Quotes found here)

"In their haste to be wiser and nobler than others, the anointed have misconceived two basic issues. They seem to assume (1) that they have more knowledge than the average member of the benighted and (2) that this is the relevant comparison. The real comparison, however, is not between the knowledge possessed by the average member of the educated elite versus the average member of the general public, but rather the total direct knowledge brought to bear though social processes (the competition of the marketplace, social sorting, etc.), involving millions of people, versus the secondhand knowledge of generalities possessed by a smaller elite group."

The question isn't whether some group of ten "experts" is smarter than some other group: it's whether that group is smarter than THE ENTIRE FREE MARKET, which is, certainly in economic matters but in other matters as well, almost never the case.

Only very few people on this planet can actually run a billion-dollar business. No one can run a multi-trillion-dollar economy.

It's foolishness to try, and those who do end up running it into the ground.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, on the subject of expertise, I would like to remind you that you never did provide a satisfactory answer to a question I raised in a discussion that began here: you questioned Sarah Palin's qualifications as an energy expert because of her supposed belief in young-earth creationism.

I asked why the logic of that argument doesn't disqualify from medicine Christians who believe in the bodily Resurrection, and you never provided a convincing distinction between the two.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

I am interested in hearing what you think is the problem with Newt fiscally speaking. He was a leader in balancing the budget after '94 and is now insisting that a variety of tax and spending cuts is what is necessary to truly stimulate the economy and create jobs. Amongst the cuts, which I really like, is reducing the corporate tax to, I believe, nothing in order to attract business from outside the US (as well as to bring back US business that left to avoid the heavy tax burdens). He supports a two year 50% reduction in payroll taxes to allow individuals to have more money every payday. He supports the total elimination of the death tax, calling it immoral on the face of it and I agree. This all sounds very conservative to me.

I once thought he was off the reservation when I first heard him talk about global warming (appearing in a PSA with some lefty lunatic), but as I read this book, I found that his thoughts are far more reasoned and of a conservationist bent than your typical environmental buffoon.

Finally, regarding his personal life, I would hope that a candidate I support would one be of inpeccable character, but I could die before such comes along (though Sarah seems so). Reagan was a divorced man. The tales I hear of Newt's divorce are always told by lefties, so their word is suspect. All I hear is crap about him forcing her signature on divorce papers while she hovers near death. But for all I know, he could have been there at her request, and that she could have been the culprit in the whole affair. Since that time, I haven't heard of anything else.

I think he belongs at least in someone's cabinet, if not in the Big Chair itself, and he could be the one guy who could really articulate how conservatism is the better choice.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

As this book points out, there have been numerous improvements in the way the various energy companies do business, with an eye toward reducing damage to the planet. Regardless of the motivations, it seems that the evil and greedy corporate heads are listening to the worries of the people, and/or share those concerns themselves (they do have families and children and grandchildren). Much of the whining from the environmental goofballs is happening even when companies have demonstrated that they've met all environmental requirements, yet the buffoons don't care. They just want to block further development anyway. That crap needs to stop and it has too much sway over legislation because of those very experience-free jerks referred to by Bubba.

Bubba said...

Marshall, you're right that most of the outrage about Newt's private life have come from the Left -- didn't they just get finished lionizing Ted Kennedy? -- and, while I agree that no politician can be expected to be perfect, I remain somewhat skeptical about both the quality of his personal character and (subsequently) his electibility. I would LOVE for my skepticism to be shown to be unfounded, and I think he would help any GOP nomination process by simply making it more serious.

(I really should read more of what Newt writes.)

About Newt's conservative bona fides, the environmental issue is what I had in mind, but I'm glad to hear that you think he's more reasonable and libertarian than that PSA would first suggest.

What I think is needed is someone who can rigorously defend the old, good core principles while finding novel, politically viable applications of those principles. Newt's great at the latter, but I wish he was a little better at the former even if that costs some good will from some on the left because ultimately THERE WILL BE THAT COST.

What we don't need is a GOP version of (post-'94) Clintonian triangulation, even if it's coming from someone who is much smarter and less politically craven. There are times when I think Newt enjoys the role of the egghead who takes generally conservative positions from a starting point of non- or bi-partisanship.

We need more of a culture warrior.

4simpsons said...

Hi Bubba -- just checking back in -- I stopped reading Dan's bit after his childish "brother Neil" comment so I can't address what he said. I keep hoping he'll grow up. He tried that bit when he contacted my pastor via his bizarre understanding of Matthew 18 and my rejection of someone who is such a transparently bad false teacher (Paraphrase: "The Bible is the word of God! Except when it isn't! And I decide when it isn't!).

He didn't realize that I don't consider him a brother of any kind so that passage wouldn't apply. In typical question-begging style he assumed it and made an ass of himself and wasted my pastor's time (one of the risks of being on the Internet, I suppose, though my pastor and I had a good laugh over it). Sadly, he'll take this comment as fuel for another round of attention grabbing comments which I'll ignore. Hopefully the thread will stay under 700 comments with you guys correcting him. I choose to ignore it all.

Obama has a vastly lower % of cabinet members with any business experience. They shouldn't micro-manage at all, and he should get some people who know something about business.

Dan Trabue said...

Brother Neil said...

He didn't realize that I don't consider him a brother of any kind so that passage wouldn't apply.

Whether or not you consider me a brother does not change the fact that we are brothers in Christ, any more than if my literal brother said I was no longer his brother. I would still be his brother.

Reject me all you wish, I'm still all yours.

So, now that that's resolved, I repeat that I agree that it makes sense to have people with business experience helping set business policy, and people with energy experience set energy policy, and those with environmental experience help set environmental policy.

I'm all for informed and experienced input into our community decision-making. And again, this would seem like a no-brainer idea that we could all agree upon.

One thing to consider: If we're talking energy policy, we certainly ought to listen to what the coal and gas people say. BUT, to turn policy decision matters over to them without input from OTHER energy experts, without environmental experts, etc, that would be less than brilliant.

I'm in support of reasonable gov't.

(and since when is referring to someone as "Brother Neil" childish? and since when is striving to heed what the Bible says bizarre? and since when is talking about private conversations considered anything but childish and un-Christian? Brothers?)

Bubba said...

Dan, you have a funny way of showing a desire to include the input of all experts on a given subject. We're not the ones who denigrate experts from industry as "oil men." For that matter, we don't call into question a Christian sister's expertise because of her religious beliefs.

But, again, the question is NOT whether one group of ten experts is more qualified to run the show than some other group, but whether *ANY* group is qualified, compared to the undirected decision-making of society at-large.

In many cases the answer is no: for instance, not even the smartest group of economists could set prices as efficiently as the free market.

A truly reasonable government is a limited government, one that's prevented from tasks for which it lacks both the moral authority and the basic competence.

Bubba said...

Dan, on the much more matter of our supposed Christian brotherhood (and your efforts to heed the Bible's teachings), I will remind you what the Bible teaches about the grounds for the church's unity.

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." - I Cor 10:16-17

Christians are united in Christ's death: we "are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." We participate in the Eucharist, through which we remember and proclaim Christ's death until He returns (I Cor 11:26).

Look again at the passage above: we share in Christ's body, and we share in Christ's blood. That is what unites us.

The Bible is clear, and Christians believe, that Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus Christ Himself was clear about this claim, that He came to give His life as a ransom for us, and that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.

In instituting the supper WHICH UNITES ALL CHRISTIANS (according to the Bible, at least) Christ made clear that His shed blood was the blood of the new covenant, poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28, Mk 14:24, Lk 22:20, I Cor 11:25).

The Bible is clear, Christ died for our sins.

You've been less than clear, but it does seem unavoidable that you believe otherwise -- that you believe that Christ's death did not directly cause our salvation and forgiveness; and that you believe that salvation instead comes ONLY from God's grace and not Christ's death, when the Bible teaches that we're saved by both.

"But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith." - Rom 3:21-25

When we've discussed these issues, you haven't been clear and forthright. The best thing I can conclude is only that you're incapable of clear communication: at worst, you're unwilling.

But far more disturbing than our discussions is the questions your beliefs raise about your participation in the bread and the cup -- in the body and the blood of Christ.

(I'm assuming you do partake: after all, you claim to be a Christian and to esteem Christ's teachings.)

To put the very best possible spin on things, when you partake, you believe everything that is said, but what you mean by it deviates significantly from what Christians have believed since the beginning and (more importantly) what the Bible clearly teaches.

The more damning (and more likely?) possibility is that, when you partake, you do so insincerely and therefore unworthily.

While Christians around the world celebrate Christ's saving death through the Eucharist, you participate in the same ordinance, and you hear or repeat the same words, but you don't mean them.

I have no problem with Christians being rankled at your smarmy use of the term "Brother," because you're not a Christian brother in good standing, and I believe there is a legitimate question about whether you're a Christian brother at all.

Dan Trabue said...

We're not the ones who denigrate experts from industry as "oil men."

My point was that "oil men" do not constitute the full realm of expertise on energy issues. I have no doubt that oil industry people represent that industry fairly well. They do not represent a good objective sampling of expertise on energy issues on whole.

I apologize if I was unclear in my opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

far more disturbing than our discussions is the questions your beliefs raise about your participation in the bread and the cup -- in the body and the blood of Christ.

(I'm assuming you do partake: after all, you claim to be a Christian and to esteem Christ's teachings.)


Yes, at our church, we share communion regularly. Sometimes in a formal rite and more often in less formal meals together. We eat and drink NOT literal blood, but as a reminder - an image, if you will - of Christ's life, death and teachings. As oft as we do it, we do it in remembrance of Jesus.

I hope that does not trouble you.

Dan Trabue said...

But, again, the question is NOT whether one group of ten experts is more qualified to run the show than some other group, but whether *ANY* group is qualified, compared to the undirected decision-making of society at-large.

In many cases the answer is no: for instance, not even the smartest group of economists could set prices as efficiently as the free market.


Perhaps in many cases the answer IS no. However, in many cases, the answer is also "Yes."

For instance, I don't "undirected decision-making of society at-large" when it comes to who should drive, at what speed they should drive, what they can and can't drive (a tank? why not?! Sure, it'd be safer... for the person in the tank), etc, etc.

I don't want "undirected decision-making of society at-large" when it comes to what people can throw away, where they throw it away, how they throw it away, etc.

I don't believe in anarchy, a point on which I'm sure we all agree. I think the gov't has a proper role in setting some limits in some areas.

I think we can all reasonably agree to at least the notion, if not the extent or where to start drawing lines and making rules.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"My point was that 'oil men' do not constitute the full realm of expertise on energy issues. I have no doubt that oil industry people represent that industry fairly well. They do not represent a good objective sampling of expertise on energy issues on whole.

"I apologize if I was unclear in my opinion.
"

I think your original comment was unclear if that's what you meant:

"I'd be fine with letting qualified and balanced economists be in charge of economical decisions as long as we have qualified and balanced scientists and environmentalists and energy experts (and by 'energy experts,' I don't mean an oil man, for instance) manage our environmental and energy policies."

The comment seems to imply the exclusion of "oil men" rather than the inclusion of everyone else.

You wrote, "by 'energy experts,' I don't mean an oil man, for instance."

You didn't write that you don't mean *JUST* those with experience in the oil industry.


Indeed, I'm not an anarchist, which I've made abundantly clear in my support for the continued criminalization of acts like theft, fraud, assault, and murder.

But your vague and reasonable sounding platitudes about how we disagree about where the line should be drawn between freedom and government control don't address the likelihood that the line you would draw would almost certainly entail more state control.

You rarely address in real detail your philosophical beliefs about the most obvious point of contention: price controls.

Bubba said...

Dan, about the far more crucial issue of the Eucharist and the related question of your propriety in insisting that we are Christian brothers, you write:

"Yes, at our church, we share communion regularly. Sometimes in a formal rite and more often in less formal meals together. We eat and drink NOT literal blood, but as a reminder - an image, if you will - of Christ's life, death and teachings. As oft as we do it, we do it in remembrance of Jesus.

"I hope that does not trouble you.
"

First, indeed, I have no problem with the conclusion that the bread and wine are merely symbolic. In fact, and in opposition to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, I believe the Bible REQUIRES that conclusion: the Bible is clear that Christ's death was once and for all (Rom 6:10; Heb 7:27, 9:12, 10:10), so that precludes His being offered again and again through countless eucharistic sacrifices over the centuries.

But here you confuse the symbol for what is being symbolized, just as you denigrate the reality of the atonement by focusing on figurative language that can be used to describe it -- such as language about Christ's blood paying for sins, as if (or so you put it) a certain volume of literal blood was necessary in exchange for forgiveness for a certain number of sins.

The bread and cup of which we partake are not literally Christ's body and blood: you are right to hold that position, but it doesn't justify dismissing as figurative the claim that Jesus' death is causally responsible for our salvation.

And, language about Christ's blood paying for sins is figurative: you are right to see that, but that doesn't justify your denying the existence of a literal causal relationship between Christ's death and our forgiveness.


You write, "As oft as we do it, we do it in remembrance of Jesus."

We do, but if you insist on claiming to heed what Scripture teaches, you should also affirm what is actually found in I Corinthians 11:26. The first half of your sentence alludes to that verse, but you make an obvious substitution.

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

We don't just remember Jesus, Dan. WE PROCLAIM HIS DEATH, because (remember) we preach Christ crucified.

And Christians don't merely remember Jesus' death as some sort of martyrdom, or some culmination of a political program of non-violent resistance, or as some reminder of the conflict between God's Kingdom and the "powers that be."

We accept what Jesus Himself taught about His death when He instituted it: that His death inaugurated the new covenant, that He was to die for many, for the forgiveness of sin.


See, if I had raised these doubts to someone who really believes that Christ died for our sins, he would almost certainly have focused on dispelling those particular doubts.

He wouldn't have mentioned a denial of transubstantiation, which is good but really beside the point being raised. He wouldn't have merely confirmed to observe the Lord's Supper and, by doing so, to commemorate Jesus, His death, and His teachings.

He would have affirmed his belief that Christ died for our sins.

You don't, because it's clear that you can't honestly do so.

You don't believe Christ died for our sins, and that does call into question the orthodoxy of your beliefs.

And you can't be completely forthright about the fact that you don't, and that calls into question the quality of your character.

Either is sufficient to conclude that you're not a Christian brother at least in good standing, and together those two facts make it easy to wonder if you're perhaps not a Christian brother at all.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I think your original comment was unclear if that's what you meant

Then, once again, I apologize.

Bubba...

But your vague and reasonable sounding platitudes about how we disagree about where the line should be drawn between freedom and government control don't address the likelihood that the line you would draw would almost certainly entail more state control.

Perhaps in some areas. In other areas, my ideals would entail less state control. I'd get rid of nearly all if not most of our "war on drugs" big gov't intervention. That would certainly be a billions (maybe trillions?)-of-dollars savings in prison and court costs. I'd decriminalize marijuana and perhaps some of the other drugs so that they could be up for sale on the free market and taxed, bringing IN income, rather than taking out income.

I would continue to support FDA oversight of all drugs, including marijuana. I don't have a position on cocaine or crack type drugs.

I'd also greatly decrease our big gov't militarism and military adventurism around the world, making for much less gov't control there, too.

I'd eliminate gov't intervention in deciding who can and can't be married beyond age limitations. If you're two consenting adults able to make adult decisions, then you can wed without big gov't intervention. I might get gov't out of the wedding licensing business altogether and let that be a matter for faith groups, but then, we'd need some solution for those with no faith tradition.

Bubba said...

You rarely address in real detail your philosophical beliefs about the most obvious point of contention: price controls.

I don't know that I have any opinion about price controls. It would probably depend on the specifics. In general, I think I have made clear, I support people setting their own prices for their own products/services. So I guess that means in general, I am opposed to price controls. But again, it might depend on the circumstances.

I am in favor of striving to ensure that actual costs are built in to prices. That is, if creating a widget creates X amount of pollution, then that widget company ought to pay that full X price to clean up after themselves and thus, they can choose to build in the X amount into the price of their widget or not, but what they CAN'T do is forgo cleaning up after themselves.

But that's just personal responsibility, not price controls.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

You don't believe Christ died for our sins, and that does call into question the orthodoxy of your beliefs.

As I have clearly and frequently corrected you, I DO indeed believe that Jesus lived and died and raised again for our sins, for our lives, for our salvation, which comes by God's grace. I perhaps don't define that the same way as you do, but that does not mean that I don't believe that Jesus life was not lived out in a sacrificial way.

I just don't think it was a literal purchase arrangement involved for our salvation. No, it was grace, as I understand it. For we are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus.

Hallelujah, brothers!

Bubba said...

Dan, this is daft:

"I'd eliminate gov't intervention in deciding who can and can't be married beyond age limitations. If you're two consenting adults able to make adult decisions, then you can wed without big gov't intervention. I might get gov't out of the wedding licensing business altogether and let that be a matter for faith groups, but then, we'd need some solution for those with no faith tradition."

The traditional definition of marriage being the union of husband and wife is no great encroachment of a Leviathan state, and just because you would like to see an essentially androgynous society, it doesn't mean that it makes any sense for you to invoke small-government principles in the defense of your position: limiting marriage contracts to two adults at a time (which is what you mention) is hardly a dramatic shrinking of the state compared to the limitation that the two adults be a man and a woman.

Even to eliminate public marriage licenses altogether isn't a matter of "big gov't intervention" since cohabitation isn't illegal. As for what "solutions" agnostics would need, I have no idea what problems would require solutions.

To say that you oppose the traditional definition of marriage as "big gov't intervention" while you vaccillate over price controls is simply frivolous.

On whether people have the right to determine the prices at which they offer their property -- their goods or their time -- or the prices at which they purchase or rent the property of others, you insist repeatedly that it depends on the details and on the specifics, so that your stated opposition to price controls is as clear and reliable as fog.

But, because of the creeping Leviathan, you oppose the traditional definition of marriage that preceded this and every contemporary government by literal millennia? Give me an effing break.

You're a radical progressive who will frame your positions as concern for limited government when you can get away with it, but you can't persuasively convince anyone that you actually give two shits about the classical liberal principles of truly limited government.

Let's not forget, Dan, that you made the most ridiculous arguments to defend the position that Congress has essentially unlimited powers to promote the general welfare -- even appealing to an essay about Jefferson that proved the EXACT OPPOSITE POINT of what you thought it proved, and invoking a Ben Franklin quote that had absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution.

Except where it interferes with your social radicalism -- as when, horror of horrors, the state says I have to enter a marriage with a woman and not another man -- you strain to justify and then obscure your statist tendencies.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"As I have clearly and frequently corrected you, I DO indeed believe that Jesus lived and died and raised again for our sins, for our lives, for our salvation, which comes by God's grace. I perhaps don't define that the same way as you do, but that does not mean that I don't believe that Jesus life was not lived out in a sacrificial way."

You have NOT been clear, and here you remain unclear on whether you believe that there's a literal causal relationship between Christ's death and our forgiveness.

To say that Jesus lived in a sacrificial way, does not imply that Jesus sacrificed His life for our forgiveness and salvation.

On the contrary, you've written before that we would have still been saved if Jesus had died of old age, so whatever you think His death accomplished, our salvation ain't it.

(And however you account for His anguish in Gethsemane, His cry of dereliction on the cross, and the penalty of our sin, you've never made that accounting public, much less coherent.)


"I just don't think it was a literal purchase arrangement involved for our salvation. No, it was grace, as I understand it. For we are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus."

Are we saved by God's grace AND Christ's death? Or are we saved by God's grace BUT NOT by Christ's death? You never make clear what you believe.

And, again, you focus on certain language about purchasing and not on the reality of what the Bible claims, that Jesus died for our forgiveness, a claim that doesn't use the language or imagery of purchasing at all.

In lieu of a genuinely clear explanation of what you do believe, I can only continue to conclude that you don't believe what even Christ Himself taught about what His death accomplished -- that His blood was shed for many, for the forgiveness of sin.

And if you'll look at the four accounts of the Lord's Supper -- in the synoptics and in I Corinthians -- you won't find Christ speaking one solitary word about purchasing one solitary thing.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

On whether people have the right to determine the prices at which they offer their property -- their goods or their time -- or the prices at which they purchase or rent the property of others, you insist repeatedly that it depends on the details and on the specifics

I'm sorry if you feel saying that policy direction depends upon the specifics of a topic is too vague. I think the specifics of any given topic matter and think it is reasonable to say, in general, I believe in people setting their own prices but that there may need to be exceptions.

I'm basically agreeing with you. I just think it reasonable to allow that there may need to be exceptions for the general rule. I'm sorry if you disagree. It is my position, nonetheless.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Are we saved by God's grace AND Christ's death? Or are we saved by God's grace BUT NOT by Christ's death? You never make clear what you believe.

I'll pass on repeating what I've repeated beyond affirming yet again: I quite clearly believe that we are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus the Christ, who lived, died and rose again. It is my position that we are saved by God's grace AND that grace is made manifest in God's coming to live, teach and die amongst us, with us, for us and raising again. That IS my position, I'm sorry if it's not clear enough for you, but it remains my position.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Even to eliminate public marriage licenses altogether isn't a matter of "big gov't intervention" since cohabitation isn't illegal. As for what "solutions" agnostics would need, I have no idea what problems would require solutions.

State-sanctioned marriages provide legal benefits to the participants that mere co-habitants don't receive. For a just society and one that values committed, supported and supportive marriages, we need equity between cohabitating peoples.

As it is now, only the state-sanctioned marriages get benefits. Either give the benefits to all or give them to none, but it is less than just to only give it to some. I am okay with our gov't "micromanaging" household relationships and by its approved benefits supporting committed relationships as long as it is across the board in equity.

But if we can't do that, then let's remove all marriage benefits and rights and let marriage be a church/community matter, not a state one.

But then, this is all off topic again... Sorry, Marshall.

Bubba said...

Dan, I think you are quite clear about your beliefs regarding salvation: you're just not forthright.

"I quite clearly believe that we are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus the Christ, who lived, died and rose again."

That does not imply that Jesus' death is what saves us: if you believed THAT, you would have long since said so. You clearly don't believe that we are saved by Christ's death, but you cannot bring yourself to say so outright.

"It is my position that we are saved by God's grace AND that grace is made manifest in God's coming to live, teach and die amongst us, with us, for us and raising again."

Likewise, this doesn't imply that we are saved by Christ's death. To say that His death was a manifestation of God's saving grace, does not imply that His death was what actually saved: His death could be a mere by-product, like the exhaust from an ambulance that gets you to the hospital.

If you really believed that Christ's death is not only a manifestation of God's saving grace, but that PARTICULAR manifestation which is ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAVING, you would have said so by now. You don't believe this, but you just don't say so unambiguously.

You'll say everything else under the sun, sometimes things that are quite true, mainstream, and orthodox to avoid the key point.

You'll connect God's grace and Christ's death, but you won't make clear that you DO NOT connect His death and our salvation.

You'll list a dozen related things -- that our salvation and our forgiveness and our lives are tied into Christ's life and teachings and death and resurrection -- to obscure the fact that you deny the essential connection between two of those things, Christ's death and our salvation.

(If I said that I get all the education, material needs, and affection from my mother, father, and grandparents, it doesn't follow that my father specifically is specifically affectionate.)

What you do not ever get around to affirming or denying explicitly is what the Bible says about Christ's death, and what Christ Himself taught in the upper room about His own death.

He died for our sins. He died for our forgiveness. He died for our salvation.

And you don't believe any of that.

And so, when you partake of the bread and the cup, you do so insincerely -- or, if you do so sincerely, the meaning you apply to the words being spoken is radically and fundamentally and irreconcilably different from what the Bible clearly teaches.

And when you are called to explain what you believe by answering truly simple questions...

"Are we saved by God's grace AND Christ's death? Or are we saved by God's grace BUT NOT by Christ's death?"

...you'll write a thousand words to avoid writing a truly clear and explicit answer.


Alongside Neil, I cannot in good conscience call a person who believes all that and does all that, a Christian brother.

Bubba said...

Heading out the door, Dan, but about marriage, you write, "Either give the benefits to all or give them to none, but it is less than just to only give it to some."

"But if we can't do that [provide benefits across the board], then let's remove all marriage benefits and rights and let marriage be a church/community matter, not a state one."

I strongly disagree with this position -- in part because it's the state has NO DUTY AT ALL to treat all relationships as morally equivalent in terms of receiving its commendation -- but I do understand it.

What I still don't understand is what you wrote earlier:

"I might get gov't out of the wedding licensing business altogether and let that be a matter for faith groups, but then, we'd need some solution for those with no faith tradition." [emphasis mine]

Once the state is completely out of endorsing marriages and providing benefits, I'm not sure what possible solution would be needed for those without any "faith tradition" (an irksome term, for what it's worth), BECAUSE I DON'T SEE WHAT PROBLEMS THEY WOULD FACE.

Marty said...

"He didn't realize that I don't consider him a brother of any kind so that passage wouldn't apply. In typical question-begging style he assumed it and made an ass of himself and wasted my pastor's time (one of the risks of being on the Internet, I suppose, though my pastor and I had a good laugh over it."

This is really heartbreaking. Not so much that you don't consider Dan your brother in Christ, but that you and your pastor "had a good laugh over it".

I looked over your blog Neil and even made a comment today. I see that you live in Houston and are a United Methodist. I, too, live in Houston and am a United Methodist. What is heartbreaking for me is that a fellow Methodist and his pastor would laugh together about this situation. If you really believe that Dan isn't your brother in Christ, it means that you believe him to be deluded in his faith. What kind of pastor would laugh at such a prospect? My pastor would never do that. I am sure of it.

And I'll say one thing for Bubba. He's not laughing at such a prospect either.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I don't believe you really care about exactly what it is that strikes Neil and his pastor as funny about Dan's actions. I'm sure they don't view Dan's misquided positions as humorous in the least. But you're too concerned with demonizing Neil in your misquided defense of Dan to really consider the possibility. As Dan himself would insist, why not first seek clarification from Neil before you rake him over the coals?

To be more specific, one could find Dan's position hilarious while at the same time finding it sad that he actually believes what he says. I'd wager that this is closer to the truth regarding Neil. Maybe he'll respond.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

It is the common belief that the state has a stake in supporting traditional marriage in that it is the basis of society. Two men or two women go nowhere without the help of a third party. But one man and one woman can begin a community by virtue of God's plan and nature's design. THAT is what the state sees a benefit in encouraging and does so for the benefit of even non-religious couples through ceremonies presided over by justices of the peace.

Those who cohabit are not committed by virtue of the fact that they have not entered into a legal contract, which is the only way for the state to recognize such a union. At the same time, those who care little for state recognition are still lacking in the committal department by their refusal to so publicly declare that commitment.

Even if the couple chose a religious ceremony, the lack of state recognition does not provide the "waiting period" that a license necessitates should the two parties decide to dissolve the union. The thought of a legal divorce can make one think twice about whether any disagreement is worth the trouble. The point here is that the lack of legal ties would result in a rather anarchic situation as regards the concept of family. This might well suit the progressives in our society, but it would be problematic in practice, ultimately destroying our culture and way of life.

The addition of deviant sexual unions to the equation would also promote a decay of our way of life and the state has no vested interest in recognizing such unions. Quite the contrary, it produces great harm, both in the realm of added health care costs, the destruction of the idea of both "family" and "marriage" and numerous other hazards the state has no interest in promoting. It is an entirely crotch-centered and selfish way of viewing either institution and above all, is totally and undeniably unChristian and counter to God's plan for human sexuality. It is all at once anti-Christian AND anti-American.

Marshall Art said...

But getting back to the theme, with our current understanding of the shenanigans behind the global warming hoax being exposed, together with what we already knew regarding the radical defense of shakey science AND their determination to silence alternative opinions, I find it completely delusional to expect that there are environmental "experts" that would satisfy either the left or the right at the same time. Those within the various energy disciplines are already investing in clean technology demonstrating that environmentalists of the leftist radical variety are not only unnecessary, but irrelevant. We have, for example, without the need for throwing in with such inane people by signing on to the Kyoto protocols, already reduced our polluting more than any of those who HAVE signed on.

Now, thanks to the stupidity of 52% of the voting public, we have idiotic representatives of our government willing to spend billions we don't have to help lesser nations with their "carbon footprints" as if they would really spend that money building windmills.

We don't need the type of people Dan has in mind to help us develop our natural resources in a way that provides us with the energy we need so as to free us from the need for foreign oil and to do it in a cleaner, more efficient way. We need people who know those industries the best to do what they do best. They will do so in the context of a capitalistic environment that will produce what we need in accordance with the demands of the consumer. Right now, those demands are more energy, cheaper energy and cleaner energy. The interference of environmental radicals inhibits all three.

4simpsons said...

Marty, thanks for the concern, but my pastor is a true man of God with the best balance of grace and truth I've seen.

The laugh was over Dan's theology (my pastor and I are quite well aligned theologically) and the odd people you find on the Internet.

I struggle to stay in the Methodist church. My pastors are terrific and so are the Methodists I know internationally through mission trips. But the U.S. leadership and many churches have way too many fakes that teach the opposite of what Jesus did.

I did a post today about Jim Winkler's comments that I got from your site. Sadly, you appear to think what he teaches about the Good Samaritan parable passes for accuracy. That's sad, not funny.

And if you are pro-legalized abortion and think our tax dollars should fund it then that is really, really not funny.

4simpsons said...

"To be more specific, one could find Dan's position hilarious while at the same time finding it sad that he actually believes what he says. I'd wager that this is closer to the truth regarding Neil."

Yep.

I hope Dan finds the truth someday and I pray that he deceives as few people as possible along the way. He deceives in his comment, btw, because I'm the only one he referred to as brother and he knows why he does it. But whatever he is, spiritually speaking, I'm not, and vice-verse. But what's new?

4simpsons said...

Back to your regular programming and my apologies for the digression. I really shouldn't feed the narcissism.

Marty said...

Neil: "I struggle to stay in the Methodist church."

For what it's worth Neil, I know how you feel. Only for me it was the Baptist Church. I finally made my exit however. I feel much more at home in the Methodist Church.

"And if you are pro-legalized abortion and think our tax dollars should fund it then that is really, really not funny"

I'm not particularly fond of tax dollars going to pay for abortions. Abortions are legal, however. But I would never ever advise anyone to have one. I support life in all its phases.

Marty said...

"But the U.S. leadership and many churches have way too many fakes that teach the opposite of what Jesus did."

I disagree. I have found quite the opposite to be true.

4simpsons said...

Theological Liberals teach the opposite on so many things.

Jesus is the author life. they support legal crushing and dismembering of innocent human beings and blaspheme by saying Jesus would be pro-choice.

Claiming that Jesus is one of many paths to God isn’t a little different than saying He is the only way, it is the opposite. There is either one way or there is not one way.

Claiming that Jesus isn’t God isn’t a little different than saying He is God, it is the opposite. He is either God or He is not God.

Claiming that the original writings of the Bible were not inspired by God isn’t just a little different than saying they were inspired by God, it is the opposite. The Bible is God’s Word or it is not God’s Word. It makes roughly 3,000 claims to speak for God, so if liberal theologians think those are all false then why do they bother with the Book at all?

Claiming that miracles never happen (Virgin birth, loaves & fishes, healings, the physical resurrection, etc.) isn’t just a little different than saying they did happen, it is the opposite.

Claiming that marriage can be for two men or two women isn’t a little different than saying it is between a man and a woman, it is the opposite. It is claiming that marriage is not just between a man and a woman and that “marriage” is now whatever we want to define it to be.

Liberal theology claims the opposite of what historic, orthodox Christianity claims regarding the essentials of the faith. They are entitled to their opinions, of course, but it is disingenuous and misleading for them to call themselves Christians while espousing those beliefs.

They have invented their own religion, which is their right. It would just be less confusing if they would give it a new name. And it would be more intellectually honest to stop taking money from people who do believe in the essentials that those denominations were founded upon.

Jesus taught to give your own money. They teach the opposite: The way to fulfill his teachings is by having Caesar confiscate it from others to give and that qualifies as your "charity."

4simpsons said...

I'm glad you "support life in all its phases" but I can't reconcile that with your support of Liberal health care policies. I won't be back until next week but I'd be interested in understanding why you don't like abortion.

I dislike it because it crushes and dismembers innocent human beings. Therefore, all Christians should oppose it being legal.

John K. said...

Too bad we didn't start doing this a decade ago.

My major fear is that the coming year will bring an Israeli attack on Iran which will lead to astronomical gas prices. And there is nothing we can do now to change that since Congress sat on their duffs so long or, ever worse, acted in ways to limit local oil/gas exploration.

Marshall Art said...

John K.,

First off, welcome to my humble blog.

Secondly, if it ain't a situation like you fear, it'll be the rising costs due to whatever nonsense they're planning in Copenhagen. I wonder where they're gonna get the billions they're promising the developing nations?