Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stunned Value Extractors

Before teaching my Advanced Placement U.S. Government class the very first period of the day on Monday, I peeked at MSNBC's news site to catch any up-to-the-minute stories. Here was the headline I saw screeching across the top:

"Markets Stunned by Lehman Bros. and Merrill Lynch."

After my students filed into class, I displayed this on my TV screen and told them this:

"I'm stunned that they are stunned. Come on, what were they thinking?"

The they to whom I refer are indeed all the people who misassessed things so much that the current economic collapse is unfolding. I further explained this for my students using an illustration about a lender cheerfully handing over a home loan with $3,000-a-month mortgage payments to a gleefully willing guy earning $1,000 a month.

These people are stunned?

My students laughed at the abject folly of this.

Everyone is now beholding the idiocy of valuing things by the World, yet no one knows squat about what to do. Last night on NBC's national newscast, anchor Brian Williams literally toured the CNBC studio and approached four different financial reporters to assess the damage. All looking very dapper yet grim, they proceeded to provide the most elementary spittle about what's going on.

No surprise, this is the World talking.

What is so mind-numbing is that after the skyscraper-loads of financial experts pontificate about how it is this or that, they completely fail to see Who the answer is. Oh, I'll tell them.

It is Jesus Christ.

"Oh but he's just some silly religious figure. Please don't get me wrong, I respect your views, but get your butt outta here with your fantasy blitherings about Jesus."

No wonder they can't get it. They're nowhere near getting it, they're sworn agents of Cain, every one of them. After all, God sent Cain out of His presence. It's as if you told one of them there was a nose in the middle of his face and he said, "I respect your beliefs and all, but there's a--what's this you call it, a nose on my face? Ha! Now go away, this is serious business."

And it is serious business. Cain's economic agents are now going bananas trying to get frightened people to stay in the fold. That's what they do. Jesus is no part of it. Caesar is, however. Notice: whenever the feds spurn a failing TBTF* the market tanks. The Dow Jones yesterday dropped 500 points after the government said "No bailout for you, Lehman Bros." Whenever the feds step up to offer a hand, the markets rebound. Today the Fed issued no change in interest rates, and this was treated as the glorious word that things aren't as bad as they thought they were. (*TBTF: Too-Big-To-Fail)

There ya go. Caesar says it, and it is so. At least what we all think is so, we think...

Who are you following? Whose value assessments are you following? If you are following Caesar's, whether it is Congress or the Fed or a super-duper-uber-financial institution, then you are, in the end, toast.

What if, however, you were following Christ's? Yes, what if you actually valued things the way Christ does?

Think about it, a major reason the economy is so shaky right now is so many people thought their home prices would continue climbing. Why did people believe that? These poor, poor homeowners were exposed for who they really were, value extractors no better than the lenders who themselves were yankin' on the system.

Whose value assessment were they trusting? Come on, whose value assessment capacity are you trusting, and if it is not that of the One who made it all to begin with, why are so insane not to? Oh, right, fergot, your Jesus is just a hairy guy in a neat picture on the wall of your church. Sorry.

On a Sunday morning interview show former Fed chair Alan Greenspan said that until housing prices stabilize we're going to have this crisis. Guess which agent of Cain helped everyone believe their house values were going through the figurative roof? By pumping the economy full of easy money during his tenure in the 1990's and early 2000's, why Alan Greenspan, of course!

There are so many people who listen to these guys, so many exploitees working like crazy to be exploiters too. So many working, working, working the system so they can carve out value from wherever, from whoever. It doesn't matter who they are, lenders and homeowners jerking each other around, investors and bankers jerking each other around, Treasury Secretaries and massive securities brokerage firms jerking each other around, it doesn't matter.

It's the World at work, fully engaged in big-time human sacrifice.

The worst is not that there are so many doing these things, that's their thing, but that there are so many who say they are Christians doing it too. So many of them are plugged firmly into the World System and doing things exactly the way the World does them that there isn't a lick of difference between the jerkers and the people who really shouldn't be jerking anybody.

It's one thing that all of these financial geniuses are utter fools, it's disheartening that so many who say they believe in Christ are just as foolish for signing up with them. Frequent a church that grips its 501c3 like it can't do without it? Employed by a company chartered and required to register you as a taxpayer? Hold a property "ownership" agreement that grips you like a vise?

Why do I go on about it. Why do I exhaust myself saying any of this. I've already written a couple of homepage pieces on my webzine about this--the first is here, and the second is right after it. I'm repeating myself here. Forgive me.

I only do this because I hurt for them. That's all. I see the despair, I see them banging their heads with a frying pan and I just want to tell them about the way it won't hurt anymore.

"Hey, I got it, if you'll allow me. Try this. Maybe it'd help if you stop hitting yourself on the head with that frying pan."

All I get is, ""No, that's not it. Now go away with your crazy ideas."

Wham. "Ouch." Wham wham. "Ouch that hurts." Wham wham...

I know very few people will catch this blog post, if any. There are 57 gazillion blogs and web items out there drawing people's attention. That's cool. I don't really care if no one reads this.

But only if someone gets the idea from whoever somewhere. And that's what makes me saddest. I just see no one seeing this. Am I the only one who is saying anything about it? Because it seems that way is why I write this here, in case someone does by some miracle read this. Ahem, not just read it but get it. There is no way, no way I'm the only one saying get with Christ, get with the One who has the entire universe in His hands and get out of the World with those awful contracts that shout "I'm all about jerking people around no matter how wholesome I look!"

It just can't be.

Just, where are these people?!

Oh, and yeah, I should mention my latest homepage piece is about how I feel it at times. I do tend to let my heart drape itself all over my sleeve. That's here.