Review of Peter Grandich’s Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid

Please take a look at Jonathan Chevreau’s column today; he reviews Peter Grandich’s, Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid. Grandich was a Wall Street legend who realized the emptiness of his quest for material wealth. Here is an excerpt:

Early on, Grandich’s church-going was mostly for show and to accommodate his Catholic wife. But when he said his newborn daughter was healed by prayer in the 1990s, he began taking his religion more seriously. He “started to believe in God on a real, daily basis,” even though he viewed himself as a “sinner . and a big one, at that.”

Despite his wealth, he felt like most Americans that he was living beyond his means, so “super-downsized” his high-net-worth lifestyle.

Please read the rest at the Financial Post.

Mayor of London barred entry into the United States on his British Passport

In 2006, US immigration officials refused Boris Johnson, now mayor of London, entry into the United States on his British passport, saying that because he was born in the United States of America, they required that he travel on a US Passport into the US or have proof that he was no longer an American.  This proof is probably the Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN). Johnson writes:

So I circumnavigated America. I flew via Madrid, managing to beat the rest of my family to Mexico by 45 minutes; and yet I still seethe. It’s not just the stupidity of the rule that gets me. It’s the arrogance. What other country insists that because you can be one of its nationals, then you must be one of its nationals? Imagine if we told all British-born Americans that they could not arrive in this country except by use of a British passport. I haven’t seen anything so insanely possessive since the negotiations on the Common Fisheries Policy, when the Irish used to claim that the cod stocks of the Atlantic were still Irish in their fishy souls, even though they had long since emigrated to Portuguese waters.

As far as I can interpret the psychology of the rule, which has only been applied since 9/11, it is part of America’s new them-and-us mentality, the Manichaean division of the world into Americans and non-Americans, obliterating any category in between. Listen, buddy, the Americans seem to be saying. You got a right to be American? Then you do us the courtesy of travelling on the world’s number one passport when you come here. What you got to be ashamed of, boy?

I can tell you this:  the American tourist industry and airlines will lose a lot of business if a lot of accidental Americans have to circumnavigate the US.  This is dumb, dumber, and dumbest.  I too seethe.

I am victim II: A dialogue with Steve (a progressive Christian)

Craig Carter has written an interesting post entitled, “Secular Politics Infiltrating the Church: Hell’s Scheme to Bring Down Evangelicalism.”  There I’ve entered into a rather lengthy discussion with a self-proclaimed progressive who apparently believes himself to be Christian.  I reproduce here my comments and his responses.  I think it demonstrates that while progressives claim to care about people, they really despise people and are more concerned about re-engineering society to make it more equal–who cares who dies or suffers along the way, just so long as the rich can no longer parasitically leech off of others.  I responded first to his manner in which he responds to Craig Carter and Gordon (another correspondent), while mercilessly libelling the Tea Party.  Later, I explained how progressive, with their need to enlarge the state, had forced me to renounce my US citizenship, resulting in my suffering the loss of my birth right.  The reason that I insist on telling my story about how I’ve suffered is that I still can.  Those whom the progressives around the world have murdered can no longer tell their story.

Peter W. Dunn said…

That’s amazing Steve. You praise Craig and Gordon for civil tone of their responses to you, and then insult the Tea Party, libelling them as liars. Wow. An entire movement of people who want smaller government libelled as liars. You called Ron Paul demonic.

I think you should read my blog Steve: The Righteous Investor. You could start with this:  Worship the invisible God or our modern Idols:  which? 

You wrote:

“Progressives are not trying to replace a deity through gov’t, as you suggest, but progressives do not believe in a theocracy. We believe that ended with Jesus. The gov’t should meet the needs of all people, not just those who are wealthy or favoured by majority status.”

Well with these lines you have proved Craig Carter’s main point in the post. Because a god or an idol is what we have faith in to meet all our needs. You suggest that it is government. I suggest that Jesus is still alive and that it didn’t end with Jesus but he still lives in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. I’m not advocating theocracy–like the progressives who believe in big government that meets all our needs–I believe in small government that doesn’t suck up all the oxygen in the room and thus allows other institutions, like the family and the church, to breath a little too. But you advocate government as panacea and that ultimately is evil.

The socialists, of course, reject God as Jehoveh Jireh, because they believe in government-jireh, which provides everything we need. Who needs faith in a God who strictly prohibits in his Ten Continue reading

Pacifistic Redistributionism, Or, Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

[This was cross-posted at City of God.]

I have a confession. I don’t understand something about some anarcho-socialists whose writings I follow semi-regularly.

I don’t understand how someone can simultaneously believe that Jesus took a principled stand against all violence in his life and death, and yet at the same time believe Jesus’ call for justice requires the state to violently expropriate and redistribute property. Sometimes, such proponents will go even further, and suggest that a truly free (i.e., non-violent) market would result in oppression of the poor.

Just to give an idea of what I’m talking about, here are two snippets from the writings of Brian Walsh. Walsh is not the only example of this kind of thinking I have seen, he’s just the person I have heard most recently express it, and whose writings I was able to search through most quickly. Firstly, an example from a meditation on Colossians:

If the gospel was not about the reconciliation of ‘all things’ in Christ, there would be little biblical basis for the transformation of cultural life. It is precisely such comprehensiveness that we meet in this poem.

But how is reconciliation accomplished? Note how the poem ends: God was ‘pleased … to reconcile to himself all things … by making peace through Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross.’

The irony of these words is deep. Jesus brings peace – one that goes infinitely beyond the Pax Romana – but does so through crucifixion at the hands of the imperial powers.

This is the ultimate subversion. It is not imperial political, economic and military power that brings about reconciliation but suffering love.

So here, Jesus’ politics is explicitly opposed even to bringing social harmony through “…economic…power…”. And yet, here are some comments made about tax systems in the context of the recent Canadian federal election:

So where is Jesus on the question of taxation? Let’s be clear, taxation that favours the rich and the powerful to the detriment of the poor is always unjust taxation. So any political party that advocates tax cuts for the rich in a society where there remain deep economic divisions between the very rich and the very poor is a political party that knows nothing of the way of Jesus.

When Zacchaeus met Jesus he not only abandoned the practices of an oppressive taxation, he engaged in a radically generous act of wealth redistribution. Giving away his wealth and repaying those who had been oppressed was an act of deep faith and profound economics.

At its best, taxation is a means of redistributing income to create a more level economic playing field. At its best, taxation is the way that we all contribute to the common good. In a radically individualist culture, the notion of something that is “common” is difficult to imagine. But if we root our lives in a commitment to love our neighbour, then progressive and responsible taxation could be one way that we seek justice and promote the common good.

I honestly cannot understand how these two positions fit together. I would appreciate some help.

I am victim

Leftists always claim to be on the side of victims, the poor, and the marginalized.  Often these so-called victims are criminals, the worst elements of our society, who are sociopathic in behavior, e.g., substance abusers, and are unable to function in normal society.  Some Christian leftists claim that since Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor”, these poor are the true church.  They are the focal point of God’s love and care, not the “rich”.  And you, because you are middle-class or “rich”, you belong to the oppressors.  It doesn’t matter how many good jobs you provide and how many families depend on you, you are an abuser.

When you turn the tables on these leftists and claim, “I am a victim”, they ignore you, mock you, claiming that you are an extremist or mentally ill.  But those of us who pay taxes are being robbed regularly by government.  We work hard and we risk our capital, and the government expects its pound of flesh and strips us of our wealth, and then gives it to the “poor”–such as the banksters or the people who refuse to get a job and call their welfare cheque their “pension”.  This is abuse and we are oppressed victims.  We are like the people in biblical times called the Am haEretz, the people of the land, who were oppressed by Roman tax collectors.

Consider that Charlie Engle went to prison for mortgage fraud while not a single bankster went to jail.  I’d sure love to put my mortgage broker in jail, but I’m sure he’s still free.  I won’t mention his name to protect the guilty, but he received over $5000 in fees for his claim that my brother’s business could earn more than three times its historical cash-flow in SBA loan papers for a commercial building that he couldn’t afford.  As my brother’s partner, I lost a lot of money on that deal.  Yet Engle goes to jail, and the big fraudsters are free.  And so are the Congressmen who pass the unjust laws and receive sweet-heart loans from the banksters.

Today I read an essay on “Morality and the IRS” which claimed that many people are so frightened and demoralized by their treatment at the hands of IRS that they commit suicide.  Indeed, it doesn’t take long to find stories to that effect.  Joe Stack who flew his plane into a IRS building in Austin, TX, left a public suicide note explaining that the IRS drove him to self murder–and the leftists who run the media call those who sympathize with Stack “extremists in the patriot movement“.  One IRS agent testified to the Senate Finance Committee in 1997 that she knew of at least five suicides but thought that the number could be much higher.  If the IRS threatens a person with prison and fines, or steals from their bank accounts and garnishes their pay cheques, then it can really cause a lot of domestic havoc, marital discord, and personal suffering.  I know.  My own wife is tired of hearing of my woes and is not above threatening me.  Such tribulations could lead the weak among us to Selbstmord.

The socialists want this.  They want big government that takes care of us cradle-to-grave.  They begrudge even our little savings accounts, such as the TFSA, where we are allowed to gain interest without taxation–even though the pathetic returns from interest accounts don’t even keep up with organized government robbery called “inflation”.  And yet government does a very bad job of providing services, and we would be much better off if they would just get off our backs and let us fend for ourselves.

The IRS–and probably every other revenue service in the world–is no better than the mafia.  Consider that American citizens are required to pay taxes to the USA no matter where in the world that they happen to live.  Non-residents cannot receive US healthcare, grants, education, or whatever the service might happen to be, because they don’t even live in the United States.  But this taxation is justified because they receive “protection” from the US government.  It makes me think of how Richie Aprile offers protection to Beansie (See video below: viewer discretion is advised because of foul language and violence).  Yeah, the US government has the right to tax me here in Canada because it is protecting me from all the bad guys out there who want to harm me or steal from me.  Wait a second, the only ones who are constantly threatening me work for the government.  You see!  The government has become a criminal organization and I am victim.  Well, excuse me IRS sirs.  I am now under the protection of Canadian organized crime.  In order to make that clear, I’ve lost my right to live in the United States of America.  Poor Beansie, Tony Soprano didn’t protect him from Richie.  Hopefully, the Canadian mob boss will do a better job for me.