February 07, 2006

We're Back!

by Joe Martin in No Tags at 04:15pm

Well, sorta. After talking it over, Adam and I decided that the day of The Theocrat was over. Our blogging, however, isn’t. We’ve just launched a brand new blog: Minor Thoughts. Please update your bookmarks, your RSS feeds, your blog rolls, and your memories. We look forward to seeing all of you over there!

This site will stick around until (at least) September, but we will no longer be updating it.

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November 08, 2005


by Joe Martin in No Tags at 05:31pm

As you may have noticed, the site has been rather static for the past several months. Rest assured, it’s not dead. Adam and I have been discussing Theocrats and what we want to do with the site. We decided that we needed to shift our focus and emphasis. We also wanted to change the way we created content and published it.

In order to meet these new goals, we need to change the site design and layout. We’re currently hard at work on that resdesign and hope to bring it to you before too much longer. We’re looking forward to giving you new content and focusing on what it really means to be a Theocrat, to follow our King.

Thank-you for your patient.

Joe Martin (for The Management)

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October 06, 2005

Supreme Duty

by ted hamilton in , , at 02:57pm

I heard an interesting synopsis of the dangers of Liberal court philosophy on Mr. Limbaugh’s radio program the other day, and want to sum it up, and my reaction to it. The synopsis goes something like this:

Liberal political theology cannot be sold to a thinking public. This is because Liberal ideology is not only un-American, it is anti-individualist, and oppressive. The Liberals know they can’t sell their positions because the positions aren’t popular. Therefore they mask their true intentions with double-talk and refuse to offer their real solutions. They don’t want real solutions, they want a new system.
Therefore, the traditional means of establishing law (ie. popular vote leading to Congressional initiatives leading to changes to law via Congress) cannot happen. The only remaining avenue for Liberal ideology to spawn itself upon the American public is to circumvent the standard process. Liberals accomplish this by giving Liberal judges positions which allow them to ‘re-interpret’ (read: insert their own political views into) the Constitution. They thereby create law via reinterpretation and precedent instead of Congressional action.

This process has been titled ‘judicial activism’ and as far as I can tell, both Conservatives and Libertarians abhor this process. I know that I do. The question then becomes “how do we prevent it from happening?”. The first, and most obvious choice, is to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who don’t practice such kind of law.

The role of a Supreme Court justice, as I see it, is to look at existing laws, evaluate if the court case in question violates existing law by using the principles of judicial language (the jargon of the profession). If the case in question covers a topic not explicitly covered in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, then the consequences of allowing the case to stand as precedent are examined to see if those consequences violate the intent of the Constitution or Bill of Rights. If so, that case is struck down. If not, it stands. End of story, end of job description.

The problem is that objectivity, by definition, requires apolitical thinking. So how do we isolate judges from political ties? The current system of lifetime appointment was supposed to accomplish that. It may have once, but doesn’t any longer. What do you think?

Term limits? (How do you prevent ‘leaving a legacy’ from being a motive for rulings then?)

A Liberal (and aparently secular?) caller to Rush’s program made the comment that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were enduring and copied by other nations because they contained timeless truths that were central to our system of rule. Really?! Should we take that to mean that just as some natural laws are plain and cannot be countered without consequence (see Gravity), that perhaps there are some basic principles of human behavior that cannot be violated without consequence? Well, if we admit that, than how do we discover what ‘standards’ work? Perhaps judges who match that ‘standard’ should be appointed? How do we agree on a standard?

Tough questions. And the answers will not come easily. But at this point, the Conservatives and Libertarians are the only ones stating real positions that can be considered for a ‘standard’. Any liberals care to step up to the plate and become a spokesperson for your party? It starts by telling people what you believe and why. And you’d better figure both what AND why before you go trying to convince others. If you think that your position can’t or won’t convince others, why are you still holding onto it?

Don’t get me wrong — I no longer fit neatly into any of the ‘Big Two’ political parties, but if you want me to join you politically, you’d better come to me with something more than emotion alone, and something more than intellect alone. The party that masters the balance of logical and intellectual reasoning balanced by tempered emotion to guide their political philosophy will reap a bumper-crop of misrepresented Americans. Perhaps they’ll be able to suggest some judicial guidelines?

~Ted Hamilton

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September 08, 2005

New God, Diet God, God Classic: Thinking About Church Consumerism

by Adam Volle in , at 04:59am


So. This is the situation I find myself in:

I’m hearing small explosions directly outside my window and just watched several unidentifiable individuals erect football goal posts where none are supposed to be. Additionally, I’ve been advised that I’ll soon be receiving several visitors, garbed in black and possibly masked, who I should do my very best to ignore, and that before I go to bed tonight I should take one final look at the statue which rests near the “front circle” of my college. Bets are good it’s being set on fire. Again.

Yet here I am writing an article on church economics.

People say I have no work ethic.

So, anyways:

As some of you are no doubt aware, I just recently entered into a pastoral internship program at my own Three Rivers Community Church, and the first book my pastor and trainer Mitch Jolly gives me for a homework assignment is Erwin McManus’ An Unstoppable Force. The book’s main focus is Inspirational, but in the first chapter (“Chapter None – Atrophy”), McManus does make an insanely interesting little point about the recent boom in Christian non-profit organizations (remember when all we had was the YMCA?). Let’s talk about it.

Here’s the quote (on page 27, for those of you with a copy; it is a good book):

“In many ways the emergence of the parachurch reflects the paralysis within the local church. When we stopped calling youth to the mission of Christ, Youth With A Mission emerged. When we ignored opportunity to reach university students, Campus Crusade emerged. When we settled for church attendance and neglected discipleship, Navigators emerged. When we hesitated to call men to the role of spiritual leadership, Promise Keepers emerged.”

Now it embarrasses me terribly to write this, but the truth is I never actually considered what McManus is saying here: that the creation of a separate entity to address the concerns of college students is a response to a deficiency of traditional churches in addressing same, that in fact the existence of all these new organizations is the result of consumer need (well, listen; for a guy who prides himself on seeing the economics behind everything, yeah, it’s embarrassing). Is it true? Do the extremely popular “parachurches” of today owe their existence to the traditional church being, to quote Dr. Robert Nash, “an eight track church in a CD world”?

And if so, we inevitably wonder, does this mean they are a threat?

Well, for the record, Mr. Erwin McManus appears to think so. To devote much space to the subject would divert attention from his main points, so he doesn’t spend much time considering it, but he makes his feelings clear enough when he relates the following story:

“[A man I'd never met] introduced himself and explained that he had been attending [my church] for a little over a month. He informed me that the teaching met his standards, that the music was acceptable, and that he was pleased with what he found in the children’s and youth ministries… He wanted to check us out for several weeks before he brought his family. He wanted to make sure the products and services were in line with what he felt his family needed. This wasn’t about theology; this was all about customer service(italics mine; so get your own).”

It’s not hard to read between the lines there and tell that Mr. McManus thinks the general practice of “church consumerism” that’s developed in America today is unacceptable. Even though this entire point is merely an aside in his book, though, Mr. McManus is far too excellent a writer to not at least provide some rudimentary support for any position he mentions. He gives us a small window into his logic on page 37:

“On another day Alex, one of our pastors, was engaged in an intense conversation with one of our more gifted artists… Like many from a church background, [the artist] had a tendency to see the church through a critical filter and proceeded to express his criticisms. Alex stopped him to establish a frame for the rest of the conversation. ‘Remember, this isn’t about you.’

“Unfortunately, for too many people, when the conversation is no longer about them, there’s not much left to be said. We’ve been taught that we are the center of the universe, and we evaluate everything on its ability to meet our needs… Is it really all about us being fed? I think it might be important to remember that over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or even obese. Is it possible that this is also true in the arena of personal spirituality? Are we too much about us getting fed and too little about us exercising our faith?”

To paraphrase: The Christ has called His followers to be a part of His church. In order to constantly evaluate our church in terms of our own enjoyment, we must of necessity be in a mindset that we are being catered to by an entity (The Church) separate from ourselves, rather than that we are part of an entity that caters to others. For if we consider ourselves part of the serving entity rather than the consuming, wouldn’t we constantly evaluate our church only in terms of the rest of the congregation’s enjoyment? Isn’t The Church supposed to be your extended family? How can extended family be so interchangeable?

Objections? Easy enough to imagine: As a conservative Southern Baptist, perhaps I’m not equipped with the sensibilities common to today’s college student, and would be more useful serving those to whom I can relate. After all, is there really any inherent problem with rock-loving Christians congregating for musical worship with other rock-loving Christians, and so on? Can’t a Gen-Y teen more effectively reach out for the Christ to those with whom he or she has common ground?

We know where this practice logically leads: segmentation (a news reporter would probably call it “the Balkanization of the Church”). Does this matter?

So: The promised visitors have arrived. A fellow student with the body of a hat rack and the skin tone of Casper the Friendly Ghost just entered the room. He’s clad in a black t-shirt and jeans, and wearing a red, grinning Satan mask. Perched atop his head of long, greasy hair is an incongruently baby-blue fishing hat. Both of us have taken a moment away from our respective tasks to look at and quickly gauge the other, then returned to our work. I’m finishing this flippin’ essay, and Mr. Devil Prankster is printing off copies of- something.

LORD knows.

I remember “shopping” for a church in Rome for quite some time before finally settling on Three Rivers. Looking back, I think I spent too long at it. I was certainly more interested in whether the music was exactly what I wanted and the preaching was exactly the style I wanted to hear. McManus pegs what I was at the time in his book: a Christian more interested in being helped than helping.

Maybe the solution is to pick very carefully, but then to stick with your choice.

Humm. Impossible to say- at least at 4:40 in the morning, with devils running around.

It’s time to take a look at that statue, and it’s time to go to bed.

‘The Boss bless every one of ya.


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September 06, 2005

It's Time for a Little Judgment

by Joe Martin in , , at 10:06pm

Many conservative, fundamentalist Christians tend to view the world through a specialized lens. They believe that God has the power to affect the world in any way He chooses and is intimately involved in the world. This, quite logically, leads to the belief that God causes and directs everything that affects both them and the world. Asian tsunami? God’s design. Presidential election? God’s plan for America. Fired? God’s plan for my life. Hurricane Katrina? God’s judgment on either the United States, Louisiana, New Orleans, or the poor people left behind — depending on whom you ask.

According to Pastor Rick Scarborough:

Scriptures teach us that God will not be mocked. The scenes of devastation in New Orleans we’re witnessing on the nightly news show us a catastrophe of Biblical proportions.

If that weren’t enough, the chaos that’s sweeping the ravaged city is a sad reminder that when God brings the deluge, the floodgates will open and unimaginable evil will wash over us.


After September 11, 2001, “God bless America” was on everyone’s lips. But what, exactly, are we asking God to bless – a nation moving a breakneck speed toward homosexual marriage, a nation awash in pornography, a nation in which our children are indoctrinated in perversion in the public schools, a nation in which most public displays of The Ten Commandments are considered offensive to the Constitution, a nation in which the elite does all in its considerable power to efface our Biblical heritage?

We are sowing the wind. Surely, we shall reap the whirlwind.

One other factor which must be considered: Days before Katrina nearly wiped New Orleans off the map, 9,000 Jewish residents of Gaza were driven from their homes with the full support of the United States government. Could this be a playing out of prophesy (“I will bless that nation that blesses you, and curse the nation that curses you”)?

Columnist Stan Goodenough reports on others who push the Katrina-Gaza connection:

A North Carolina pastor has expressed his concern for the future of the United States should the Bush Administration insist on the implementation of the “Road Map.”

In comments made after witnessing the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last week, Jesse Stines of the Blue Ridge Mountain Church in Elk Park, NC warned that America’s insistence on the implementation of its land-for-peace plan could see worse disasters hit the US.

Stines, a staunch supporter of Israel who has visited the Jewish state almost every year since 1981, said since the institution of the Road Map and the announcement of the planned “disengagement” he had been “preaching everywhere – warning the people” that this policy would see “the wrath of God released upon our nation.”


The North Carolinian described last week’s mammoth disaster as “the worst storm in the history of America.”

“If we continue on with this Road Map – not to peace, but to hell – Hurricane Katrina is only the beginning of disasters that will hit this nation.”

Moving right along, Repent America is claiming that gays are responsible for the storm:

Repent America says that God “destroyed” New Orleans because of Southern Decadence, the gay festival that was to have taken place in the city over the Labor Day weekend.

“Southern Decadence” has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars” Repent America director Michael Marcavage said in a statement Wednesday.

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city.” Marcavage said. “From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same.”

Finally, a pro-choice group believes that God punished Lousiana because of abortion:

The image of the hurricane above with its eye already ashore at 12:32 PM Monday, August 29 looks like a fetus (unborn human baby) facing to the left (west) in the womb, in the early weeks of gestation (approx. 6 weeks). Even the orange color of the image is reminiscent of a commonly used pro-life picture of early prenatal development (see sign with picture of 8-week pre-born human child below). In this picture, and in another picture in today’s on-line edition of USA Today*, this hurricane looks like an unborn human child. Louisiana has 10 child-murder-by-abortion centers – FIVE are in New Orleans www.ldi.org (‘Find an Abortion Clinic [sic]‘)

Baby-murder state # 1 – California (125 abortion centers) – land of earthquakes, forest fires, and mudslides
Baby-murder state # 2 – New York (78 abortion centers) – 9-11 Ground Zero
Baby-murder state # 3 – Florida (73 abortion centers) – Hurricanes Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne in 2004; and now, Hurricane Katrina in 2005

God’s message: REPENT AMERICA !

(Hat tip to Radley Balko for the multiple links.)

Ever since I saw these statements, I’ve been sure of my response. I haven’t been sure of the best way to communicate my response, however. I’ll let Mark Shea do the talking for me:

Until further notice from God…

I’m going to stick with the daring theory that New Orleans was destroyed by a hurricane, not by divine wrath.

That will bother some of the holier folk, who are quite certain they discern in recent events the fate of sinners in the hands of an angry God. However, as one of God’s duller and more bovine creatures, my ears are not attuned to the frequencies by which he communicates these absolute truths to some. From where I sit, there are certain things I think it’s safe to say. First, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Second, God is in control of stuff (including weather). Third, life is extremely mysterious. Fourth, God is the judge of the world, not me and not even my most especially holiest readers. Fifth, if I were in the position of people in New Orleans, I would be strongly tempted to give a good swift kick to the Holy Ones whose first thought is not, “How can I help?” but “This is your fault, you know.”

Theodicy is a fun game in the abstract. Sort of like playing “Lifeboat” in a college bull session. I enjoy a good game of “What if” as much as the next guy. But playing Lifeboat is much less fun when you are in a lifeboat and sensible people know that there is a time and place for speculating on the mysterious purposes of the Almighty and a time and a place for shutting one’s trap and just helping.

[...] I believe God judges evil. I do not believe that I’m qualified to know every instance of his doing this. My own experience of judgement (and what little I can glean from Scripture) suggests that about the worst way we can approach that mystery is to picture God as a huge pissed-off bearded guy who smashes whole populations indiscriminately without bothering to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. From what I can tell, “Judgement” typically appears to take place when God shows us our own faces and reveals to us who we really are. In the crucifixion, a terrible judgement is rendered against Caiaphas, against Pilate, against Peter and the disciples, against Judas. But the judgement is intrinsic to who they are. God doesn’t stop the proceedings and smash the evildoers. He bears the consequences of their sin.

Please read the whole thing. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Gas Stablizing, Thanks to Markets

by Joe Martin in , , at 03:56pm

Even before checking the Internet this morning, I could tell gas prices were stabilizing. Gas had risen to $3.25 a gallon, in Madison, last Thursday. Monday morning, most gas stations in the area had lowered prices to $3.19 a gallon. This morning, I found a partial explanation, courtesy of the New York Times:

Gasoline supplies will likely remain tight through much of the coming week if not longer, industry officials and analysts said, as refiners slowly resume operations in the gulf region. It can take several days to restart those facilities, because of the danger of explosions and other accidents. Of the 10 refineries that were shut down by the storm initially, eight have not resumed operations, two are restarting and hope to be operational in the coming days, and three still do not have electricity, the Energy Department said on Sunday. At least four refiners that produce about 5 percent of the nation’s gasoline and other oil-based fuels have sustained significant damage and could be out of commission for a month or more for repairs, officials and analysts said. Among them are ConocoPhillips’ Belle Chase, La. facility; Exxon Mobil’s Chalmette, La. plant; and ChevronTexaco’s large refinery in Pascagoula, Miss.


Of the two major pipelines that bring gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel to the eastern half of the United States from Texas and the gulf, the smaller one, the Plantation pipeline, said it was operating at 100 percent. The other, the Colonial pipeline, was at 73 percent as of Saturday and hoped to be at full capacity by the end of the holiday weekend.

Also, the federal government and members of the International Energy Agency, a 26-nation organization created after the 1970′s oil crisis, have started releasing crude oil and some gasoline to energy companies in an effort to ease supply constraints. Those moves helped push down crude oil prices 2.1 percent in London tradingtoday. The New York Mercantile Exchange was closed for the Labor Day holiday. The United States Department of Energy has already agreed to loan 12.6 million barrels of oil to refiners so they can keep producing gasoline and other fuels as production facilities in the gulf recover. This weekend, the government went even further and said it would sell 30 million barrels or more of oil in addition to the loans, which companies have to replace when conditions improve.

The oil refineries are starting to come back online. Once they do, I expect the price of gasoline to drop even further. This helpful chart from the BBC details the refineries’ status (hat tip to PoliBlog:

Refinery Status

Finally, after reading in the New York Times that one Atlanta gas station owner had raised prices to $5.89 a gallon, many people assumed that prices were that high all throughout Atlanta. Not true. In fact, most places in Atlanta were selling gas for as little as $2.89 a gallon. Now that’s a price point I’d sure like to return to. Soon, hopefully.

Note that all of this action: prices rising, prices falling, and supplies being conserved is happening without government action. The economy is capable of running itself as long as free markets are left free.

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Janice! Janice! Janice!

by Joe Martin in , at 02:11pm

Adam (I blithely assume) and I are leading the cheers for Janice Rogers Brown. She’s from California, she’s a libertarian, she’s willing to speak her mind and she was recently confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The seat held by Sandra Day O’Connor was left open when President Bush nominated Judge John Roberts for the position of Chief Justice of the United States. We would like the President to honor his pledge to nominate judges similar to Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas. Judge Brown fits the model perfectly.

From a political standpoint, Judge Brown is exactly what the Democrats asked for when Justice O’Connor retired. The Democrats asked for a female nominee, preferably a minority, female nominee. I’m happy to report that Judge Brown meets all of the Democrats criteria for a balanced Court. Her nomination would keep constant the number of females on the Court. More importantly, her presence would add another minority voice to the Court. For these reasons, we believe she must be nominated. For personal reasons, we look forward to the reactions of the Democratic party when her nomination is announced. We will be especially interested in the reactions of Grand Kleagle Byrd and Ted Kennedy. Will they stand up for diversity or will they insist that President Bush withdraw the nomination of this talented double-minority judge?

Ed Morrissey supports her nomination to the High Court. (Read the continuing analysis as well.) Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy believes that her libertarian stance on civil liberties will deter the President from nominating Ms. Brown. He may be right, but after reading what she’s written I want her on the Court more than ever. Save Our Courts helpfully compiled a few quotations from Judge Brown. Read through them. We think her words speak for themselves and provide the perfect incentive to both nominate her and approve her.

Where government advances – and it advances relentlessly – freedom is imperiled; community impoverished; religion marginalized and civilization itself jeopardized….When did government cease to be a necessary evil and become a goody bag to solve our private problems?

– Judge Janice Rogers Brown

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September 05, 2005

Have You Donated?

by Joe Martin in , at 01:27pm

My wife and I donated to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts last night. When we considered the sheer devastation that occurred in the South, it was impossible not to open our wallets. New Orleans, Biloxi, and many other cities and towns were virtually destroyed by this hurricane. Hundreds of thousands of people were completely displaced, lacking such basic necessities as fresh water, food, and toiletries.

We directed our contributions to EFCA Compassion Ministries the outreach arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America. We are confident that local churches will best be able to lend a helping hand to those in need. We ask that you would give as well, whether to the EFCA or to another worthy charity. As of this writing, bloggers have donated $849,376 to the relief effort. Please help out those most affected by this disaster, every little bit is needed.

After donating, please head over to the Blog for Relief Weekend and record your donation. The management thanks you.

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September 02, 2005

Why Gas is Expensive

by Joe Martin in , , , at 04:38pm

All across the nation, citizens are complaining about high gas prices. Many people are talking about being “gouged” and “ripped off” when they fill-up their cars. Many believe that oil companies are simply taking advantage of a disaster in order to make more money. That was the opinion of Karen Suggs, in Madison: It jumped up too fast. As soon as they had the hurricane, the prices went up. Wisconsin’s Attorney General, Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, is pushing for a new law to ban price gouging. She’s cooperating with the Attorneys General in Iowa and Illinois to investigate the sudden rise in gas prices. Thankfully, Lautenschlager is doing all of this with the best of motives: Those who would prey on people in desperate times are among the lowest of the low and should be dealt with harshly.

Unfortunately, Lautenschlager’s grasp of economics seems to be more tenuous than her grasp of ethics. All of this talk reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of supply and demand. As I discussed yesterday, the current demand for gasoline outstrips the supply by approximately 5 million barrels per day. Gasoline usage must be rationed if stations are to avoid running dry during the middle of the day. High prices are the best possible means of rationing fuel. It’s not a perfect system, but it is the best one available.

I myself find it hard to believe that we’re actually in a situation where we have to ration fuel. I find it hard to believe that there is not enough fuel for everyone. Unfortunately, my surprise doesn’t change reality. America currently suffers from a 5 million barrel a day gasoline shortage. Gas stations face a very real risk of running out of gas. When that happens, the owner must raise prices to discourage people from stopping in to fill-up. Near Atlanta, a BP dealer charged $5.87 a gallon for regular unleaded, later telling reporters and his distributor that he panicked after almost running out a few times.

Prices will continue to rise until customer demand decreases. Once the oil refineries begin producing fuel again, station owners will be able to lower the price of gas. The goal of each gas station owner, and each wholesaler, is to sell as much gasoline as possible, without running out. As supply and demand fluctuate, the price of gasoline will fluctuate as well. The closer each gas station gets to running out of gas, the more prices will rise. The “solution” to high gas prices is simple: use as little gasoline as possible. Surprisingly, some of the most sensible words I’ve seen all day came from the New York Times, which advises exactly that.

There was no mention of conservation when President Bush spoke Wednesday. By yesterday, he was talking of the need to conserve, but only in a general manner.

Perhaps the politicians are paralyzed by memories of the way Jimmy Carter was mocked for wearing a sweater as he urged us to adjust our thermostats during another energy crisis. The fifty-five miles per hour speed limit somehow seems to be a violation of the fundamental rights of American drivers. Sacrifice speed to help avert soaring prices? Surely you must be kidding.

The prudent course now would be for a national effort to reduce demand. Urge drivers to slow down and tell the police to enforce speed limits. A campaign to raise home thermostats now, and lower them this winter, might reduce demand enough to limit the price increases that the market will have to bear.

My advice: stay cool, drive as little as possible, conserve energy wherever possible, and wait out the shortage. The refineries will come back online. The price of gas will drop. Avoid the temptation to top off your tank, it will only make things worse. Above all, avoid the temptation to tax excessive profits (especially when no one in the government can adequately define “excessive”) or prevent price gouging. As long as prices remain high, Europeans have an incentive to sell us their gas. If we are not willing to pay for their gas, the shortage will continue and the price of gas will go even higher. Be patient and let the market do it’s thing. This too shall pass.

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Being Prepared

by Joe Martin in , at 11:54am

My recent brush with a tornado and Hurricane Katrina’s devastation have made one thing crystal clear: when disaster hits, there is no substitute to being prepared. Like most people, I usually only have a dim idea of what “being prepared” actually means. So, here’s some links for you: Bug-Out Kits and Other Emergency Prep; Bug-Out Kits: Your Papers, Please

I think I’ll work on one this weekend.

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